06/26/2001 11:00PM

One out of two won't be bad

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Either way, Neil Howard and Pat Day should be in their customary positions as fan favorites in the Friday feature at Churchill Downs.

Howard has entered Unbridled Lassie and Quick Tip as a formidable entry in the ninth of 10 Friday races. Although Howard is most likely to run just one of them, having named Day on both, either filly seems eminently capable of dominating the $52,000 race, a third-level allowance at one mile.

Unbridled Lassie, owned by Mrs. William Kilroy, comes off a May 11 victory, while Quick Tip, owned by Will Farish, exits a May 20 romp. Both are homebred fillies who already have earned black type by way of stakes wins or placings.

Probably the toughest challengers will be Chase Island, impressive winner of a recent sprint allowance, or Gal on the Go, winner of a Turfway stakes in February. A maximum of six betting interests will start.

As usual, there is no turf racing carded for Friday, when twilight first post is 3 p.m. Eastern.

Holthus slump ends

Bob Holthus didn't forget what it was like to have his picture taken in the Churchill winner's circle. It only seemed that way.

Holthus was all smiles after the first race Wednesday, when Suzanne Flying broke an 0-for-44 slump for Holthus at Churchill. The winner paid $4.

Next June, Holthus will mark his 50-year anniversary as a trainer, having been granted his first license in 1952 in Nebraska.

* The Friday card brings the return of Tincin, the hapless 3-year-old maiden who was declared from Kentucky Derby consideration just five days from the race. Tincin, who most recently was beaten 27 lengths at 84-1 in a $50,000 maiden claiming race June 20, will face nine other $30,000 maiden-claimers in the sixth race.

* The probable lineup for the $100,000 Aristides Handicap here Saturday consists of Bet on Sunshine, 120 pounds; Alannan, 119; Exchange Rate, 114; Chindi, 112; Lead Em Home, 110; Proven Cure, 110; and Dash for Daylight, 109.

* Trainer Dave Vance said the next likely start for Caressing will be the July 21 Delaware Oaks or the July 28 Monmouth Oaks. Caressing, the 2-year-old filly champion last year, most recently ran fifth in the June 8 Acorn.

* Irish Prize, winner of the Shoemaker Mile, is among the likely starters for the $250,000 Firecracker Breeders' Cup on Wednesday.