10/15/2004 12:00AM

Where's Bailey a bargain

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A perceived conformational flaw led to a bargain price for Where's Bailey, who can win her first stakes race Sunday in the $50,000 Lady Luck for 2-year-old fillies on turf at Louisiana Downs.

Where's Bailey was a $4,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland last September, and she has since won both of her career starts for her co-owner and trainer, Keith Desormeaux.

"She is what I like to describe as high in the withers, and that makes her have the perception of being slightly swayback," said Desormeaux. "If you look through that, she's absolutely gorgeous."

Where's Bailey won her debut on Sept. 8, when she rallied from last to win a 7 1/2-furlong maiden turf race at Retama Park. One start later, on Sept. 23, she rallied from last again, and won an optional claimer on turf by a neck at Louisiana Downs.

"Last time she stumbled bad leaving the gate and pulled off her right front shoe," said Desormeaux. "She ran the whole race with three shoes."

Where's Bailey overcame that obstacle and handled another later in the race, as she tried to launch her bid to the outside of horses.

"She was shut off, dove to the inside, then took off when she found an opening," said Desormeaux. "I would say she's pretty smart, but mainly aggressive. She knows where the wire is."

Where's Bailey will face eight others in the Lady Luck, which will be run at about one mile on turf. Although the field is young, they are experienced. There are six fillies in the field with at least one start in a two-turn turf race, including Ready to Live.

Ready to Live is stakes-placed under the conditions, having finished second in the $100,000 M2 Technology La Senorita at Retama Park on Sept. 4. She is already a stakes winner at Louisiana Downs this meet, having captured the $50,000 Rebel in July. Leading rider Lonnie Meche has the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen.

E.J. Perrodin will ride Where's Bailey.