Willam S. Farish's Quick Tip took command near the eighth-pole and outlasted 23-1 longshot San Dare to win the $173,100-added Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on a yielding turf at Churchill Downs Saturday.
The victory by the 4-year-old Unaccounted For filly in the 1 1/8-mile Cardinal snapped a five-race winning streak for 6-5 favorite Bien Nicole, who finished third after setting the pace for the opening six furlongs. The winning time was 1:51.08.
Ridden by Robby Albarado, the Neil Howard-trained Quick Tip had a dream trip. She made a bold move following the modest opening splits of :23 4/5, :48 2/5 and 1:13. As the field moved around the far turn, Quick Tip swung four wide, uncorked her rally and took control a few steps from the head of the lane. Quick Tip had enough left to get the job done by a half-length over San Dare, who closed strongly in the final sixteenth.
The homebred Quick Tip won her seventh career race from 22 starts. It was her second straight victory, and third win in eight outings in 2002. With the $107,000 first-place purse, her career earnings are now $449,387.
Sent off the second choice in the field of 10 at 3-1, Quick Tip paid $8.60, $5.80 and $3. San Dare, with Willie Martinez aboard, returned $16.40 and $4.20. Bien Nicole, who was seeking a sixth straight victory on her sixth different racetrack with regular rider Don Pettinger, was another 1 1/2 length back. She paid $2.40 to show. The $2 exacta was $107.40.
Howard won his first Churchill stake since the 2000 Dogwood.
"She's always been knocking on the door so I'm glad that she finally got one (stakes win)," said Howard. "She wasn't too far back and that's how she likes to run. If she makes the lead too early she's gets a little hesitant. I'm thankful that she held off that filly (San Dare)."
San Dare, who is based at Churchill, is now 2-2-2 in six starts on Churchill's Matt Winn Turf Course.
"That's as good as we could do," said San Dare trainer Rick Hiles. "We had the other horse measured, but there are no complaints."
"She had a great trip and got away from the gate in good order," said Albarado. "Neil said she's been doing great so we entered the race with a lot of confidence. The other filly was coming at us at the end but we had something left in the tank to hold her off."