03/11/2004 12:00AM

Ask the Lord should win another for Flint


The 2004 Turfway media guide was distributed to press members this week, and the several pages devoted to trainers are dominated by Bernie Flint.

Flint has amassed an impressive array of records at Turfway, having won or shared the training title at the last nine meets held at the Florence, Ky., track. Overall, Flint has won or shared 19 Turfway titles, and his 44 wins at the 2003 winter-spring meet are the most by a trainer at any Turfway meet.

Flint, 64, also has won 22 stakes at Turfway, second only to D. Wayne Lukas's 34. Saturday, the odds of narrowing that gap are very much in Flint's favor when he sends out Ask the Lord in the $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes.

Ask the Lord, with leading jockey Rafael Bejarano to ride, drew post 5 in a field of seven older horses in the 1 1/8-mile Tejano Run. In his last two starts at Turfway, Ask the Lord won the Prairie Bayou in December and the Dust Commander in February.

Sandwiched between those two stakes victories was an uncharacteristically poor effort at Oaklawn Park, where Ask the Lord was briefly stabled this winter. Flint quickly decided that Ask the Lord was much more effective at Turfway, and now the gelding is poised to sweep the track's three winter stakes for older route horses.

Because Flint accompanied most of his better horses to Oaklawn this winter, he did not have nearly as much stock to run at Turfway, helping to partly explain why he almost surely will not win or tie for a 10th straight Turfway title. Through Wednesday night, Flint was in fourth place in the 2004 winter-spring standings with 11 wins, well behind leader Greg Foley's 19.

Nonetheless, Ask the Lord appears likely to give Flint his 23rd Turfway stakes win. If the gelding is to be upset, it could be by Collateral Damage, a 4-year-old gelding who won a second-level allowance at Gulfstream Park in his last start for trainer Ken McPeek. Brice Blanc has been named to ride again.

The Tejano Run, named for the mid-1990's standout who won or placed in several top events at Turfway for McPeek, is the 10th of 12 Saturday races. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.

The Tejano Run comes one week before the annual Turfway showcase event, the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes. Birdstone figures as a solid favorite in the Grade 2 race.