01/20/2007 1:00AM

Oaklawn: Country Diva wows 'em


Country Diva, the longest shot on the board at 36-1, thrilled an Oaklawn Park crowd of 18,901 on a chilly afternoon, rallying for a half-length win over 28-1 shot Fast Deal in the $50,000 American Beauty Stakes. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third to Tax Refund, while favored Miss Elsie finished fourth.

Country Diva ($74.20) settled in third early in the six-furlong race for fillies and mares, stalking pacesetter True Tails through fractions of 22.32 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 45.91 for the half. Country Diva rallied through the stretch,and covered the distance over a fast track in 1:11.36.

Ricardo Feliciano rode the winner for trainer Michael Trivigno.

For Country Diva, it was her sixth from 15 starts and first stakes victory. She has now earned $133,447. A 4oyear-old daughter of Songandaprayer, she races for her breeder, Marablue Farm.