Champion Caressing Returns on Top

From Churchill Downs
Carl F. Pollard's Caressing, the 2000 Eclipse Award-winning two-year-old filly who captured the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) here at Churchill Downs last November, made a triumphant return to competition today with a powerful victory in the featured grade III $121,000 La Troienne Stakes.

Sent postward the 8-5 favorite under jockey Pat Day, Caressing overcame trouble at the break when she was shut off to rally from last place at the top of the stretch and overtake Sweet Nanette in the final sixteenth for a length victory. She ran the seven furlongs in 1:22.90.

Sweet Nanette, the 9-2 third choice under Gary Stevens, appeared home free when she rallied to the lead along the rail. However, she was no match for Caressing in the final yards. Golly Greeley was third, with Irish Fantasy fourth in the field of nine three-year-old fillies.

Caressing, a daughter of Honour and Glory conditioned by David R. Vance, earned $75,020 with her fourth win in six outings. Her 2001 debut had been delayed until today because of a fever she contracted in early March while readying for the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

Separata Zips to Course Record
Chilean-bred Separata, an invader from California trained by new Hall of Fame inductee Richard Mandella, sped to the front shortly after the start and never was seriously threatened in winning the $109,700 Mamzelle Stakes for older fillies and mares today at Churchill Downs.

Mamzelle, the even-money favorite under jockey Alex Solis, reached the wire six lengths in front of her closest pursuer, Elvi Gamble, with Penny Marie third in the field of six distaff turf sprinters.

Separata, owned by the Diamond A Racing Corporation of Gerald J. Ford, raced the five furlongs over firm grass in a blazing :55.92 to better the course record of :56.06 set by Morluc last summer.

Separata, a five year-old daughter of Sam M., returned $4 while earning $68,014 with her sixth victory in eight lifetime races.

The field was reduced to six when Hidden Assets unseated jockey Jorge Chavez and ran off prior to the race, necessitating her withdrawal.