Updated on 09/16/2011 8:45AM

Quick Tip holds on in the Cardinal


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Quick Tip cruised into contention on the final bend, put away favored Bien Nicole, and then held off a late bid from San Dare to win the 29th running of the $173,100 at Churchill Downs Saturday.

Ridden by Robby Albarado, Quick Tip was seventh in the early running of the 1 1/8-mile Cardinal before she began picking off rivals down the backstretch. With a quarter-mile to run, she was poised outside of front-runners Bien Nicole and Town Queen, then spurted clear in midstretch after Albarado put her to a drive.

San Dare, a 23-1 shot, made a sustained stretch bid, but was a half-length shy of catching Quick Tip, who returned $8.60 as second choice in a field of 10 fillies and mares. Bien Nicole, the 6-5 favorite, finished another 1 1/2 lengths back in third.

Victory in the Grade 3 Cardinal was the second in a graded race for Quick Tip, a 4-year-old filly owned by Will Farish and trained by Neil Howard. Last year, she won the Grade 3 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs. Overall, she has won 7 of 22 starts and almost $450,000.

Quick Tip, a homebred by Unaccounted For, finished 1 1/8 miles in a slow 1:51.08 on a grass course rated yielding. Two other turf races carded Saturday were transferred to the main track.

"It was a great trip," said Albarado. "Neil said she was doing great, so we came into the race with a lot of confidence. The other filly [San Dare] came to me at the end, but we had enough left in the tank."

For Bien Nicole, the Cardinal snapped a remarkable win streak. The Donnie Von Hemel-trained filly had won her last five starts, all over different turf courses. She carried highweight of 118 pounds, four more than the winner.

The estimated attendance of 11,500 was bolstered partly by a Nick Zito bobblehead-doll giveaway. Zito presented the winning trophy to Howard and Albarado following the Cardinal.