06/21/2002 11:00PM

Woodbine: Handpainted wins easily

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Hand-painted served notice that she could be a potential Canadian champion with a very easy four-length victory in Saturday's $136,125 My Dear Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Woodbine.

Handpainted, a daughter of A.P. Indy and stakes winner Daijin, was reluctantly loaded into the gate for the five-furlong dash. She broke alertly and battled for the early lead, before drawing away in the stretch under a hand ride from Todd Kabel.

Short Shadow closed to finish three lengths back in second, while Sensible faded to third after pressing the pace over a fast track. The final time was 58.55 seconds.

"I had a perfect trip," said Kabel. "I just sat on her, and never really asked her to run. She has a lot of talent."

Handpainted, now unbeaten in two starts, returned $3.20 as the favorite.

She earned $80,775 for owners John and Glenn Sikura and trainer Josie Carroll.

* Rare Friends ($3) set rapid fractions on a substantial lead, before barely holding on for a head victory in Saturday's supporting feature, the $106,000 Afleet Stakes for 3-year-olds.

Rare Friends, last year's champion 2-year-old in Canada, ran six furlongs in 1:10.75 with Patrick Husbands aboard.