02/20/2005 1:00AM

Casual Attitude upsets Island Sand

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Jeff Coady / Coady Photography
Casual Attitude ($7.20) rolls past heavily favored Island Sand to win the $50,000 Pippin Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths at Oaklawn Park on Sunday.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Casual Attitude ran down 3-5 favorite Island Sand in the stretch to win the $50,000 at Oaklawn Park on Sunday.

Casual Attitude won by a length and a half, while it was another length and a quarter back in third to Catboat.

Casual Attitude ($7.20) settled along the rail in fourth early, about four lengths behind Ghostly Gate, who dueled with Salzurita through 23.62 seconds for the opening quarter and 47.25 seconds for the half-mile mark. Meanwhile, Casual Attitude advanced, and jockey Tim Doocy craftily moved her to the outside of horses past the half-mile pole.

Casual Attitude then launched a sustained rally around the final turn, entered the stretch four wide, and went on to cover the mile and a sixteenth over a fast track in 1:45.43.

It was the third straight win for Casual Attitude, who won the $40,000.

Lady's Secret at Remington Park on Dec. 5, then captured an allowance at Oaklawn on Jan. 30.

"She's learned how to win and she likes it," said Steve Hobby, who trains Casual Attitude.

Island Sand, who was making her first start since Nov. 7, had a demanding trip. She hopped out of the gate, found herself on the lead between rivals heading into the first turn, then came back off the pace. Island Sand then moved up again past the half-mile pole and found herself between rivals around the final turn. She dug back in through the stretch to hold second safe over Catboat.

"Going into the far turn that other horse came up outside of us and she got into the bridle sooner than I would have liked," said Terry Thompson, who rode Island Sand.

Hobby said Casual Attitude will be considered for the $175,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup on March 12. She earned $30,000 for the win, and now has nine wins from 19 starts and career earnings of $243,246. She races for Russ Beran and Dick Johnson.