05/02/2007 11:00PM

Smitty's Sunshine proves uncatchable

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Thursday’s $111,100 Mamzelle Stakes at Churchill Downs was contested over five furlongs on grass. It was over, however, mere strides from the gate.

The 4-5 favorite Smitty’s Sunshine broke on top and made the lead under no urging from jockey Robby Albarado, and was never threatened. She controlled the pace, setting fractions of 22.56 seconds and 45.14 over a rain-soaked course labeled yielding, and cruised to a 2 1/4-length victory.

Fan Time, who chased Smitty’s Sunshine from the start, ran second, a half-length in of the late-running Flying Circle, who settled for third. Chinchilla was fourth.

The winner, a 4-year-old daughter of Seeking a Home trained by Morris Nicks and owned by Roger G. Smith, completed the five furlongs in the Mamzelle in 56.92 seconds. She paid $3.60.

“For a Louisiana-bred she’s not bad,” said Albarado, who is also from Louisiana.

Smitty’s Sunshine is indeed a quality filly. In winning the Mamzelle, she recorded her sixth win from 10 starts, and pushed her turf mark to 6 for 7. She is perfect in five sprints on grass.

Following steady rain throughout the day, some of the riders at Churchill Downs were concerned about the condition of the turf course prior to the Mamzelle. But after riding in the race, Albarado said, “It was good, surprisingly.”