11/02/2007 11:00PM

Rolling Sea holds on in Chilukki

EmailLOUISVILLE, Ky. - If this were football, Robby Albarado and Steve Asmussen might be flagged for piling on. The same men who a week beforehand won a $5 million race in the international racing spotlight were back for more Saturday at Churchill Downs, where they teamed to capture the Grade 2, $221,000 Chilukki Stakes with Rolling Sea.

With Albarado sneaking up the rail at a critical juncture in the one-mile race, Rolling Sea spurted clear in midstretch, then had enough left to hold off High Heels. Owned by the Millennium Farms of Ro Parra, Rolling Sea returned $10 as second choice in a field of eight fillies and mares.

Before 10,493 and amid terrific fall weather, Lady Belsara led early, but as the field hit the turn, every runner was in contention. Rolling Sea, having started from post 1, maneuvered through an inside opening to take a short lead, and after they straightened away, she put on a sudden burst that allowed her to finish clear of High Heels, who was finishing fastest of all.

"You have got to be real easy with her the first part of it," said Albarado, who got a leg up from Asmussen on the victorious Curlin on the previous Saturday, when they won the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park. "Today, I didn't do anything with her, I just let her cruise on her own. I had a clean trip and she took care of them today."

Rolling Sea, "has put together a great year this year," Asmussen said. "She's an excellent filly and great to be around."

My Chickadee, the longest shot at 22-1, finished third, another 1 1/4 lengths behind High Heels. Then came Change Up, Windy, Trendy Lady, Pleasant Hill, and Lady Belsara. Humorous Gal was an early scratch.

Rolling Sea, an Illinois-bred 4-year-old by Sefapiano, now has won 10 of 24 starts, with the winner's share of $132,910 lifting her earnings to $573,165.

The winning time of 1:36.02 was nearly two seconds slower than Istan (1:34.08) took in winning the previous race, the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap.