06/20/2001 11:00PM

Next for Caressing: Two turns


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Caressing, the 2-year-old filly champion of 2000, most likely will run somewhere in the Midwest next, said trainer David Vance.

"It'll be at two turns, that's for sure," said Vance. "I don't want any more one-turn races for her."

That apparently rules out the Grade 1 Mother Goose at Belmont Park on June 30 for Caressing. In her last start, Vance shipped Caressing to Belmont for the June 8 Acorn. Like all Belmont dirt races at 1 1/8 miles or less, the one-mile Acorn and 1 1/8-mile Mother Goose are contested around one turn.

Caressing, owned by Carl Pollard of Louisville, was not a factor when she finished fifth, beaten 13 lengths, as the 5-2 second choice in the Grade 1 Acorn, which was just her second start of the year. After winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last fall, Caressing had a layoff of six months, induced partly by illness. In her comeback, she won the seven-furlong La Troienne Stakes on May 3 at Churchill Downs.

Vance said Caressing has been training well here since the Acorn and that she could run next at Prairie Meadows or Arlington Park.

Quick and tough

Thirty minutes after being involved in his second spill in as many days of racing, jockey Donnie Meche came right back to win with his next mount here Wednesday.

Meche, 26, went to the ground in the seventh race, a turf race, when his mount, Union Mills, apparently clipped heels behind a tiring rival. Undaunted, Meche returned to win the eighth race by six lengths aboard Hacoda.

"He's a tough son of a gun," said Mike Lauer, trainer of Hacoda.

On Sunday, Meche was aboard Frisco Bay in a maiden turf race when the colt suffered a fatal breakdown, sending Meche hard to the ground. Although knocked momentarily unconscious, Meche was otherwise uninjured.

Tincin can't get it together

After Tincin, the hapless maiden trained by Steve LaRue, took another drubbing by finishing 10th, beaten 27 lengths, in a $50,000 maiden-claiming race here Wednesday, jockey Larry LaGue couldn't resist having a little chuckle at his own expense.

"We were head-and-head with the others," said LaGue, "until the gates opened."

The resounding defeat was fully expected by horseplayers, since Tincin was nearly 85-1 in the 6 1/2-furlong race. After being bumped hard at the start, the colt never got in the race, which was his eighth career loss.

Tincin attracted notoriety this spring when LaRue and his then-partner, Bill Clements, announced their intention to run the colt in the May 5 Kentucky Derby. But LaRue and Clements relented two days before the May 2 entry deadline, saying Tincin had coughed following an April 28 workout.

o Bet on Sunshine, the millionaire 9-year-old gelding whose lone start this year was a runner-up finish in an allowance sprint on the Kentucky Derby undercard, is expected to be the highweight and favorite for the lone stakes here next weekend, the $100,000 Aristides Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs on June 30.

o Shane Sellers, the standout jockey who has been out with a serious knee injury for six months, is scheduled to perform with other country-music artists Sunday at the Brew and Barbecue Fest in the Churchill infield. Sellers, 34, still has not received clearance from his doctor to attempt to revive his riding career. He underwent extensive surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in December.