Updated on 09/17/2011 6:33PM

Ticker Tape puts away Spotlight

David Zenner
Ticker Tape wins the Pucker Up Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths at Arlington Park on Saturday.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - On paper, the looked like a two-horse race, but Spotlight was no match for the incredible little Ticker Tape, who ran for the eighth time this year and won her fourth race, beating Spotlight by 2 3/4 lengths.

Now it is on to Keeneland and the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Oct. 16. Ticker Tape already has won the richest 3-year-old filly grass race run this season, the $500,000 American Oaks, and based on her effortless victory Saturday, she will be a major factor in the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth.

Bred in England, Ticker Tape ($4.40) was purchased for about $176,000 at an English sale last fall. She has made that back and plenty more.

The Pucker Up, a Grade 3 worth $200,000 at nine furlongs on grass, scratched down to 11 horses, and Ticker Tape broke from post 8. Jockey Kent Desormeaux let her settle into eighth place on the first turn and down the backstretch, as Rene Douglas, riding Spotlight, took up a position on her heels. Bonanza Jellybean led, going an opening quarter-mile in 23.52 seconds and a half in 47.82. Desormeaux held back until the far turn, and then he let Ticker Tape fly. A small, plain-looking filly, Ticker Tape has tremendous acceleration, and she tore up on the outside to get into position. Spotlight tried to counter but was left several lengths behind, and Ticker Tape flew to the lead in the stretch, winning easily in 1:48.63. Spotlight had to fight to get second, finishing a head in front of Sister Swank.

"This filly was awesome today," said Desormeaux. "I didn't do anything but let her go. She really took off."

Trainer Jim Cassidy shipped Ticker Tape from California on Wednesday, and fretted Saturday when the filly seemed to be going into heat. But nothing seems to slow Ticker Tape, who has been first or second 12 times in 15 starts.

"She's done more than any horse I've ever had," Cassidy said.

* Cloudy's Knight, improving start by start, beat Gin and Sin by a head in the $44,500 John Henry Stakes, Saturday's supporting feature. The Grade 1 winner Honor in War, making his first start since May, was caught in midstretch traffic, but finished well for third.