02/07/2002 1:00AM

Chausson Poire faces invasion


OLDSMAR, Fla. - It will be the dangerous out-of-town shippers versus the local heroine Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. Chausson Poire, a filly who won the first three races of her career here, heads an overflow field 14 fillies and mares entered for the $75,000 Endeavour Stakes at about a mile and a furlong on the turf.

Jockey Tommy Pompell will pilot Chausson Poire, who makes her 2002 debut in the Endeavour. She had a banner season in 2001, winning 7 of 12 starts, including four straight added-money events for earnings of $162,734. She began the season as a maiden here but won her first three races locally including two on the grass. She was beaten a neck by The Goddess Athird in the Pinellas Stakes in her last local stakes appearance.

Late last season Chausson Poire came back from a summer vacation in peak form, taking the Chapel Bell and Lyrique Stakes at Louisiana Downs with strong late runs as well as the DeBartolo Oaks, then shipped to Keeneland where she earned a share of the Valley View Stakes by dead-heating with Cozzy Corner in that $100,000 grass feature.

Light Dancer, who won 4 of 19 last season including an upset win in the Grade 3 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga on the turf, and Reve Russe, second in a $35,000 stakes at Calder in October, join Lady of Peace, who was a fast-closing third in the Sixty Sails Handicap over the Fair Grounds turf course, as top challengers to Chausson Poire.

Juan Umana, who has been aboard Light Dancer in her two prep races for the Endeavour, is slated to return. Chris DeCarlo is named on Reve Russe. David Guillory will be in from the Fair Grounds to handle Lady of Peace.