Skipper's Friend, a 5-year-old who had been quitting in sprint races, took the lead at the start of yesterday's $50,000-added Native Dancer Handicap at Bowie and posted a four-length victory over New York invader Bankers Sun.
Longshot Sunny Winters held on well for third position, a head farther back. Gasp, one of two Native Dancer starters who had beaten Skipper's Friend in a sprint handicap last week, tired to fourth.
The victory was the second in five starts this season for Skipper's Friend who filled in efficiently for his stablemate, Dave's Friend, a late scratch because of a missed workout earlier in the week.
Skipper's Friend was ridden by Vince Bracciale, who said in the winner's circle, "We made the lead easily and I was able to slow the pace early. (I) just kept him about his business in the stretch."
The running time for the 1 1/16 miles over a fast strip was 1:44 3/5. The win mutuel was $9.60 and the exacta of 2-6 returned $138.80.
Trainer Ron Alfano saddled winners of three races on the card, including both ends of the daily double