03/01/2003 12:00AM

Quick Tip nips 'Sainte'

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NEW ORLEANS - Quick Tip likes wet turf, and Quick Tip likes 1 1/8 miles. Quick: Who won the Bayou Breeders' Cup on Saturday at Fair Grounds?

Quick Tip skipped over a yielding turf course and nailed Histoire Sainte in the final strides of the Bayou BC. Rating in midpack behind a soft pace, Quick Tip came between horses coming off the turn, took dead aim on Histoire Sainte, and was up by a neck.

Ridden by Robby Albarado, owned by Will Farish, and trained by Neil Howard, Quick Tip paid $9.60 to win, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:54.61.

"She took a big step today," Howard said. "She's always done well on soft turf. It all worked out well today."

There was little pace in the Bayou BC. Caught in the Rain set fractions of 24.96 for a quarter-mile and 51.61 for a half while pressed on the outside by Bag of Stars. Histoire Sainte sat closer to the pace than usual, tracking the lead pair in third, while Shane Sellers bided his time.

Meanwhile, Albarado was content to let Quick Tip gallop along several lengths behind the leaders, letting her move up on the far turn. Sellers struck first, letting Histoire Sainte out a notch turning for home, and Histoire Sainte quickly made the lead under little urging. Sellers tried to save horse, but Quick Tip began a relentless charge about three-sixteenths from the finish and outfinished Histoire Sainte.

Snow Dance, the favorite, checked in third, a neck in front of Spectacular Dove, who had traffic problems in the stretch.

Histoire Sainte, who won this race three years ago, was to have been retired after today, but trainer Steve Amsussen said she may still race again.