Lu Ravi Returns Victoriously in Chou Croute

Under jockey Pat Day, 3-5 favorite Lu Ravi made her 2001 debut a winning one, easing away to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 Chou Croute Handicap, Saturday at Fair Grounds. The 6-year-old mare completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.17 on a fast track.

For the third time in as many years the Carl Bowman-trained mare made her seasonal bow in the Chou Croute, winning the 1999 renewal and finishing third last year. The win marks Lu Ravi's 11th career win from 24 starts. Lu Ravi (A.P. Indy--At the Half, by Seeking the Gold) is owned by Yoshio Fujita and was bred in Kentucky by W.G. Lyster III.

Lu Ravi raced in sixth through the early going as Queen's Park set the opening fractions, moved into fourth after six furlongs in 1:12.06, and split horses on her way to the lead.

"I thought she'd be fresh and thought she would be closer to the pace," said Day. "When we got a seam in the stretch, she took off like the class mare she is."

Frankly My Dear finished second, 2 1/4 lengths clear of Enquiry Woman. Gold for My Gal, Knight Woman, Queen's Park, and Bejoyfulandrejoyce completed the order of finish.

Lu Ravi returned $3.20, $2.60, and $2.10 and led an exacta worth $7.40. (Chart, Equibase)