10/04/2004 11:00PM

Is Atlantic Frost more than one-race wonder?

Mickey Goldfine hopes Atlantic Frost can help him end a slump.

CHICAGO - Trainer Mickey Goldfine has seen some turf stakes horses, both as his own boss and working alongside his father, the former trainer Lou Goldfine. But by late summer, Goldfine probably would have settled for any kind of victory, forget about a stakes horse. He had a filly named Atlantic Frost whose season (five races, five losses) had gone much like Goldfine's own (two wins as of early September).

On Sept. 11 at Arlington, Atlantic Frost tried grass for the first time, and finally Goldfine had something to sink his teeth into. Tracking a fast pace, Atlantic Frost took over on the second part of the far turn, and was on cruise control through the stretch, scoring by four lengths. Whether this was a one-race blip or a sign of real quality should become more apparent when Atlantic Frost runs back Thursday in Hawthorne's ninth race, an entry-level turf allowance with an 11-horse field. The race is co-featured along with the sixth, a second-level statebred allowance race that should boil down to Profound and Bluevalley Tiger.

Atlantic Frost has drawn an outside post, but on the positive side she has found a field ripe for a sharp maiden winner. Chancey Light has shown a decent stretch punch on occasion, but otherwise there's little to stand in the way of an Atlantic Frost repeat if she runs back to her last start.

"I expect a big race out of her," said Goldfine. "She came out of the race really well."

Arthur Appleton bred and owns Atlantic Frost, and though the filly has grass in her pedigree, Goldfine hesitated to try her on it this year, not because of the surface itself, but because most grass races are contested at two turns and require stamina.

"The big thing is, I was concerned about distance," Goldfine said. "But she's matured a little, and that makes a difference in her running style."

Indeed, the key to Atlantic Frost probably is getting her to settle. Jockey Eddie Razo managed to do it a month ago, and if Atlantic Frost comes back to him again, she should take the next step on the road to - somewhere.

"I don't really know how good she is yet," Goldfine said.

Cardinal next target for Beret

Beret smoked her opposition last Saturday in the $100,000 Indian Maid Stakes, and probably will head to Churchill Downs for her next race, a start in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap in mid-November.

Beret ran over the summer for trainer Harvey Vanier, but switched back to the name of Vanier's son-in-law, Brian Williamson, for the Indian Maid. She made Williamson proud, swinging wide for the stretch run and flying past foes to win by four lengths.

"She showed that turn of foot like she had in the past," Williamson said. "When she runs like that, she's awesome."

Twice this year Beret has stumbled out of the gate and lost her rider, most recently in the Modesty Handicap at Arlington. A good race there would have landed Beret in the Grade 1 Beverly D., but Williamson and Vanier had to revise her schedule.

There is always next year. Williamson said after the Cardinal, Beret would have the winter off, but return for a 2005 campaign.

Meanwhile, Vanier has taken a handful of horses to Kentucky, and the 2-year-old Straight Line cemented a berth in this weekend's Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland with a solid five-furlong work there Monday. Williamson said Hawthorne-based Carlos Marquez would have the mount on Straight Line. Marquez also has Keeneland turf stakes mounts for trainer Mike Stidham.

* Raving Rocket, among the most impressive 2-year-old winners at Arlington, blazed through a bullet half-mile work Tuesday at Hawthorne. Raving Rocket's four furlongs were timed in 46.80 seconds, two seconds faster than the next-fastest work at the distance. Trainer Larry Rivelli said Raving Rocket is scheduled to run Friday in a Keeneland sprint allowance race.