08/02/2008 12:00AM

Chasin Tiger wins first stakes


The 6-year-old gelding Chasin Tiger has improved dramatically over the last year and earned the first stakes start of his career in the $60,000 Chesapeake at Colonial Downs. He made the most of the opportunity, setting or forcing the pace in the six-furlong sprint outside of Great Seneca and then drawing clear for a 1 1/2-length victory.

Great Seneca held off the late-charging favorite Celtic Innis by a half-length for second.

Chasin Tiger won a $5,000 claiming turf sprint at last year’s Colonial meet and has spent much of the time since competing in $7,500 starter alllowance races for trainer Rodney Jenkins. He won four straight at that level before extending his streak to five in a second-level allowance at Laurel in January. After weakening to third in a third-level Laurel allowance in February, he was away from the races until the Chesapeake, which he entered off four consecutive bullet works at Laurel.

As the second betting choice in the race at 3-1, Chasin Tiger paid $8.80. He was ridden by Chris Vanhassel and timed in 1:08.94.

* So Vain proved much the best in Saturday’s supporting stakes at Colonial, the $60,000 Jamestown for 2-year-old Virginia-breds. Bet down to 2-1 favoritism in the 11-horse field based on his close runner-up effort against open company in his career debut, So Vain ranged up four wide on the far turn of the six-furlong Jamestown and then drew off through the stretch under only mild urging from jockey Julian Pimentel to win by 6 1/2 lengths. Trained by Michael Trombetta, So Vain paid $6.60 and was timed in 1:10.59.