01/25/2007 12:00AM

Yolanda B. Too gets another amends shot


Yolanda B. Too has crossed the finish line second at 3-5 odds each of the last two times she has come down to Laurel Park from New York. Win bettors, saved by the stewards once when she was elevated to first on a disqualification, are likely to throw caution to the wind again Saturday and make Yolanda B. Too a heavy favorite in the $100,000 Nellie Morse Stakes.

The one-mile race for fillies and mares also is the first leg of the season's first Magna 5, an exotic wager that this week includes Sunshine Millions stakes from Santa Anita and Gulfstream.

Based at Aqueduct with trainer Rick Violette, the 5-year-old Yolanda B. Too was second to Silmaril in the Maryland Million Distaff and second again - before the stewards interceded - to the longshot La Chica Rica in the Squan Song a month ago. Both of those races were at seven furlongs.

Those willing to take a stand against the favorite could gravitate to either Lexi Star or Fleet Ballado.

Lexi Star will be making her first start since finishing fourth going 1 1/8 miles on Dec. 16. Notably, she runs best when she has more than a month between starts.

All three of her victories in 2006 came when Lexi Star was fresh. Trainer Chris Grove prepped Lexi Star for this with a series of stamina-building works at the Bowie training center.

Fleet Ballado was a distant fifth in last year's Nellie Morse and was decisively beaten in each of her last two starts. But trainer Flint Stites does extremely well with horses making their second start off an extended layoff, going 12 for 49 for a $2.47 return on investment since January 2006. Fleet Ballado fits that profile and owns a 3-for-9 record at Laurel.

Also dangerous on the cut back from nine furlongs to a mile is Katie's Love. She has been up close at the stretch call - the one-mile mark - of her last two races and was second to Lexi Star three back in an overnight stakes at Delaware Park.