09/22/2007 12:00AM

Bear Now wins Cotillion with 3-10 Octave second

EmailBear Now won her fourth stakes of 2007 in Saturday's $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Handicap at Philadelphia Park, overcoming a threat in early stretch from the heavily favored Octave to score the most important win of her career.

Ridden by Jerry Baird, Bear Now led throughout the Grade 2 Cotillion, pulling away in midstretch to win by two lengths over Octave.

Bear Now ($18.80) finished 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.21.

Baird had Bear Now in front shortly after the start, leading by a length over 28-1 shot Exchanging Fire through early fractions of 23.45 and 46.52 seconds.

On the final turn, Bear Now was challenged by Octave to the outside and Talkin About Love on the rail. The three were within a length of each other in early stretch before Bear Now drew off.

Octave, the winner of two Grade 1 stakes earlier this year - the Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park - was third for much of the Cotillion before challenging on the backstretch. She was sent off as the 3-10 favorite in her first start since finishing a troubled third in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 18.

Talkin About Love held third in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies. The Cotillion was Talkin About Love's first loss in six starts this year, a streak that included a win in the Grade 3 Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks last month.

Bear Now, by Tiznow, scored her biggest payday in the Cotillion. Owned by Bear Stables and trained by Reade Baker, Bear Now earned $426,000, improving her career record to 6 wins in 12 starts and earnings of $812,414.

She won three stakes at Woodbine earlier this year, including the Grade 3 Selene Stakes in May. The Cotillion was her first stakes win in the United States.