12/20/2007 12:00AM

Absolutely Cindy small-timer's gem

EmailIn this era of the mega-stable, guys like Keith Kinmon don't often pop up with a contender in stakes races anymore.

Kinmon will saddle Absolutely Cindy as one of the favorites for the $50,000 Gowell Stakes on Saturday at Turfway Park. Not only does Kinmon train Absolutely Cindy, but he bred and owns the 2-year-old filly.

"This is like a dream," said Kinmon, who has won 52 races from 712 starters while training off and on since 1992. "For myself, for my five sons, and for all my buddies at the Waffle House."

Kinmon, 53, owns a steel company and a 300-acre farm in nearby Grant County, where his oldest son is the basketball coach at the local high school. By his own admission, Kinmon has "trained a lot of bad horses," but with Absolutely Cindy, who enters off back-to-back victories in an October maiden race at Keeneland and the Caressing Stakes last month at Churchill Downs, he finds himself with a horse that has attracted attention from deep-pocketed suitors.

"We've had some offers for some pretty good money for her," said Kinmon, who trains three other horses at Turfway. "One of my sons told me I can't sell unless I get out of the horse business altogether, and I don't really want to sell. But with the kind of money they're talking, you have to consider it."

Absolutely Cindy, by Arch, is the first foal out of Ms. Boucheron, a mare Kinmon owns.

"We always thought the mare was better than she showed, and she got better as she got older," said Kinmon. "That's one reason a lot of people believe this filly has a lot of potential."

Absolutely Cindy, with Brian Hernandez Jr. to ride, will break from post 10 in the Gowell, a six-furlong race that drew 14 entries but is limited to 12 starters.

Because she exits route races, the distance of the Gowell isn't ideal for Absolutely Cindy, although Kinmon said he believes her class may get her up. If not, the other logical contenders include Kadira, winner of the Bassinet Stakes at River Downs in September; Birdgirl, a winner of the Gowell prep three weeks ago at Turfway; and Night Break, a sharp maiden winner two weeks ago.

The Gowell is the 11th of 12 races on a card that starts at 1:10 p.m. Eastern.