LAUREL -- Sunny Sunrise was running easily on the lead without any company in the $175,000 added Baltimore Budweiser Breeders' Cup yesterday at Laurel.
But Edgar Prado, winning jockey in 13 previous stakes races in Maryland this year, was not about to let him get away.
Prado moved New York invader Excellent Tipper into contending position from the outside, took aim on the leader and passed Sunny Sunrise in the final strides to win by a head.
Excellent Tipper finished the Grade III stakes race in 1 minute, 47 3/5 seconds, a track record for 1 1/8 miles.
"It was real hard to get by him. I didn't think about it until the last 16th," said Prado. "And then my horse got his head in front."
With good speed, Excellent Tipper broke alertly and Prado took him to the rail as quickly as the traffic cleared after the first turn. It was a strong ride by the state's acknowledged top jockey.
Winning trainer Howard Tesher obviously knew what he was doing when he told racing secretary Larry Abbundi, "If you get me Prado and he makes the weight, I'm coming."
Craig Perret rode Excellent Tipper in his last race, a solid second in a $47,000 allowance at Belmont, but Perret was engaged in Canada aboard Alydeed in the Queen's Plate.
"We decided this would be the easiest place [for Excellent Tipper] to ship, especially after the weights came out," said Tesher.
Excellent Tipper bled last December after running fifth in the Seminole Handicap at Hialeah and his connections decided it was time for a long rest.
The gelding came back June 18 with a big effort at his home track and "seems to be stronger and better now," said the trainer.
Eventually, Excellent Tipper will be pointed toward turf events, but his immediate future includes the $75,000 Evan Shipman Stakes for New York-bred horses at Belmont Park on July 26.
Favored Out Of Place closed for third and jockey Herb McCauley agreed that "it would have been nice if they would have entertained" Sunny Sunrise more on the lead.
The track record was the second on the surface in the first four days of the meeting. Fighting Notion broke the 6-furlong mark Thursday in 1:08.
* The fourth annual Amtote convention for track executives will be held at the Stouffer Harborplace Hotel beginning tomorrow.
Track presidents, general managers and mutuels managers from throughout the country and as far away as Hong Kong are convening for three days to discuss such subjects as commingling, rules, gambling competitors, regional tote networks and off-track betting.
Keynote speakers include Dave Johnson of ABC-ESPN and former NFL All-Pro Sam Huff of the West Virginia Breeders' Association.
The agenda includes a barbecue, an Orioles game and a cruise-crab feast on the Bay Lady. The group will be guests of Laurel on Thursday afternoon and Rosecroft Raceway on Thursday night.
* A black snake shorted out the power supply to the Charles Town Races yesterday, delaying the start of the card by 30 minutes.
The snake curled around a phase wire at Shenandoah Downs, the adjacent training facility, and the transformer malfunctioned. Power was restored an hour and 40 minutes later, and the betting windows opened at 1:15 p.m., 15 minutes after scheduled post time.