Trainer Neil Howard didn't mind an early-morning sprinkle Saturday, as long as the $150,000 Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap remained on the Stall-Wilson turf course at Fair Grounds. The reason was the affection his mare Quick Tip has shown on a soft surface. She proved her trainer right with a strong rally to nip Histoire Sainte by a neck. "She gets over a yielding turf course better than most of them, plus the added distance didn't hurt," said jockey Robby Albarado. "I rode her with a lot of confidence. I had Histoire Sainte in my scope early in the race and never let her out of my sight." Quick Tip covered about 1 1/8-mile turf course rated as yielding in 1:54.61. "It was an extremely game effort," Howard said. "She looked good all the way around there. She got a good break and it worked out good. She's always done well on soft turf and it all worked out well today." Owned by William Farish, Quick Tip returned $9.60, $4.40, and $2.40 as the second choice in the 10-horse field. Quick Tip, a 5-year-old mare by Unaccounted For out of the Green Dancer mare Mystic Moves, increased her bankroll to $562,187 with her eighth win from 25 career starts. Before Saturday's race, Histoire Sainte was slated for the breeding shed.
However, trainer Steve Asmussen may have more racing plans for his multiple Fair Grounds winning stakes mare. "The boss (owner Gary Tanaka) says I can run her back if I want," Asmussen said after the race. "I told him let's just make sure she comes out of it good. Unless she comes out of this race with something she didn't go into with, I'll run her again." Making her seasonal debut for trainer John Ward, Snow Dance finished third as the 6-5 favorite.(Chart, Equibase)