07/26/2002 11:00PM

Tates Creek wins Diana by a bob

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Jerry Bailey Bobble Head Doll Day came early as Tates Creek, with Bailey up, won a head bob over Voodoo Dancer to take the $500,000 Diana Handicap by a nose. It was one length back to Snow Dance in third.

"I won it by the bobble of a head," joked Bailey, whose likeness was to be the subject of a bobble head doll giveaway here on Sunday.

Bailey gave Tates Creek a super ground-saving trip down the backside, guided her off the hedge entering the far turn, and made a run at pacesetting Babae turning for home. Tates Creek took over from Babae leaving the furlong marker and just had just enough to hold off Voodoo Dancer, the 3-2 favorite.

Tates Creek, a Juddmonte Farms homebred daughter of Rahy, covered the nine furlongs in 1:48.00 and returned $9.30 as the second choice.

"She's the kind of filly that you can use her a couple of times to get position and hold her position, it's not like she's one run from out of the back which makes it easier for me," Bailey said. "She reached down turning for home, and she gave it a little bit more because that filly I think maybe got a nostril in front at one point."

Voodoo Dancer, under Jose Santos, raced three-wide down the backside and around the turn and had every chance to run down Tates Creek in the stretch. Though she poked a nose in front in deep stretch, she came up on the wrong end of the bob.

"I thought I had it won, it was a tough beat," Santos said. piI don't think I could have done anything different; she had a beautiful trip. I was right by the winner at the right points, and my filly kicked in and I couldn't get there. I was just short by a nose."