05/06/2005 12:00AM

Shadow Cast surges from last to win

Shadow Cast, Robby Albarado up, rallies from the back of the pack to score a one-length win in Friday's Louisville BC.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Neil Howard entered Shadow Cast in stakes on the turf and the dirt this week and was fully expecting to run her in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Comp USA Turf Mile.

But after consulting with owner Bill Farish Jr. and going over the merits of both races, the decision was made to run her in Friday's Grade 2 Louisville Breeders' Cup on dirt instead.

That turned out to be the right call as Shadow Cast put in an explosive stretch run to rally from last and win the $339,300 by one length over Island Sand. It was another half-length back to Storm's Darling in third.

Star Parade, the 5-2 favorite, finished fifth.

Howard said there were several reasons why the Louisville was more enticing than the Comp USA. Shadow Cast got to carry less weight, she was coming off a good performance in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom on dirt, and the race had enough speed where it would set up for a stretch runner.

"If it unfolded anywhere close to the way it looked on paper, she had to be coming hard at the end," said Howard, who also said the defection of Ashado was a factor in running in this race.

Shadow Cast, under Robby Albarado, was last while Resplendency and Tempus Fugit dueled through fractions of 22.74 seconds and 45.64. Shadow Cast launched her bid at the three-eighths pole, swept four wide turning for home, and outfinished Island Sand and Storm's Darling inside the furlong marker.

A 4-year-old daughter of Smart Strike, Shadow Cast covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.43 and returned $9.80 as the third betting choice.

"I got squeezed back a little further than I wanted the first turn, but she was kind about everything," Albarado said. "There was a little bumping going on in front of me; I opted to swing her outside, where she's more comfortable. She went around them, and when I initially called on her she gave me a big burst."