Updated on 09/16/2011 8:24AM

Tenpins proves he's ready to tackle heavy hitters

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BALTIMORE - The handicap division welcomed a new player to its ranks Saturday at Pimlico.

Tenpins, running fast fractions while pressured on the lead, turned back all challengers to win the Grade 3, $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap by 1 1/4 lengths over Bowman's Band.

It was the fifth consecutive victory for Tenpins, who was making his stakes debut.

Under Robby Albarado, Tenpins ($10.20) ran an opening quarter in 22.81 seconds and a half-mile in 46.40 seconds with longshot Lightning Paces pressing him. Tenpins put away Lightning Paces, Ground Storm, and Grundlefoot in upper stretch then withstood the charge from Bowman's Band to get the victory. He covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.20.

"`I don't think we've seen the best of this horse,' Albarado said. "He wins with his ears up every time I ride him; I think there's more to him. Today was a big test for him, and he stepped up and proved he was this quality of horse.'

Trainer Donald Winfree said he would point Tenpins to the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 15.