04/01/2002 12:00AM

Woodbine: Rare Friends wins decisively

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Rare Friends overhauled front-running Wild Whiskey at the eighth pole en route to a decisive win in the $164,700 Achievement Handicap at Woodbine.

Rare Friends tracked Wild Whiskey through fractions of 22.15 and 44.85 seconds in the six-furlong race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds. Wild Whiskey gave way grudgingly in mid-stretch, and Rare Friends went on to win by 2 1/2 lengths under David Clark.

Shaws Creek closed belatedly to end up a half-length behind the runner-up while edging favored Chandra Prakash for third. The final time was 1:10.98.

"Outside speed was [the bias] today," said winning trainer Bob Tiller. "We let the inside speed go, and the game plan worked."

Rare Friends, last year's Sovereign Award winning champion 2-year-old, returned $6.30 as the second choice in his 2002 debut in the seven-horse field. Owned by Tiller and Frank DiGiulio, he earned $98,820.