In Rome Does What Winners Do in Bassinet

Trapped behind horses in the stretch, In Rome and jockey Jeff Johnson found room along the rail and edged on to win the $100,000 Pepsi Bassinet Stakes for 2-year-old filliess at River Downs Saturday.

In Rome, a bay Kentucky-bred daughter of Saint Ballado owned by Carl Pollard and trained by David Vance, tallied a three-quarters of a length victory over 29-1 Down By The Sea, who gave way in the stretch grudgingly. She finished 1 3/4 length ahead of Snappy Little Cat. The final six-furlong time was 1:13 on a fast track.

Ding's Thing, the 4-5 favorite in the field of 11, was eighth after a wide trip. The 7-2 second choice, Stoneway stopped after vying for the lead early and finished last.

In Rome, who stalked the pacesetters through opening fractions of :22 and :45 4/5, was caught behind the leaders entering the stretch but was able to get by on the inside. She wore down Down By the Sea late after the latter had drwan clear after fighting for the lead under William Troilo. Snappy Little Cat, ridden by Perry Ouzts, was wide on the turn and settled for an even third.

White Fox Farm bred In Rome, who is from Our Shopping Spree, by Talc. She was purchased for $190,000 as a yearling at Keeneland in September.

In Rome, who broke her maiden Aug. 3 at Ellis Park, has won two in a row after losing her first three races, including a sixth-pace showing in the Debutante (gr. III) at Churchill Downs July 4.

The 9-2 third choice paid $11, $5.40 and $5.80, combining with Down By The Sea, who returned $16.40 and $12.80, for a $236.80 exacta. Snappy Little Cat's show was worth $7.20.

(Chart, Equibase)