11/10/2004 12:00AM

Beware a feisty Silver Bid

Benoit & Associates
Silver Bid, winning Arlington's White Oak under Rene Douglas, will have Carlos Montalvo up for the Lightning Jet.

CHICAGO - Early on the afternoon of Oct. 13, Silver Bid returned to his Hawthorne barn dirty and ornery. In the first race that day at Hawthorne, Silver Bid missed the break and never got out of last place, finishing a distant fifth in an allowance race where he was a 3-2 favorite to win.

"When we went to take his bandages off he was stomping and kicking, and he never acts like that," said trainer Joel Berndt. "Physically, he was fine. But horses like him, they know. He was mad."

Saturday, Silver Bid can take out his frustrations on his opponents in the $100,000-added Lightning Jet Handicap, part of Hawthorne's multi-stakes day for Illinois-breds. It will be Silver Bid's third start in the Lightning Jet, after a fifth-place finish in 2002 and a neck loss in the race last year.

On his best form, Silver Bid breaks through and wins this edition of the Lightning Jet, but that last start was no way to come into a stakes race. Even so, Berndt, who trains Silver Bid for Terry Renfrow and Eugene Young, isn't looking back.

Asked if Silver Bid would bounce back, Berndt replied: "Absolutely."

Shane Laviolette rode Silver Bid for the first time in his recent loss, and while Berndt isn't throwing blame around, he said Silver Bid is "quirky" to ride. The horse needs to mix it up on the front end early in a race, even if he's not on the lead. Silver Bid never got the chance last time, and that's what made him mad. Saturday, Berndt will turn to the unheralded Carlos Montalvo, who has won four times in 10 rides on Silver Bid.

"We wanted to go with someone who knew him," Berndt said.

Silver Bid races in blinkers, but when Berndt was laboring last year to slow the horse down in the morning, Silver Bid began breezing without them. Fearing Silver Bid "didn't get enough out of his last race to keep him sharp enough," Berndt put Silver Bid's blinkers on for his two works leading to the Lightning Jet.

"The exercise rider gave me the raised eyebrows when he saw me holding the blinkers," Berndt said. "He can get pretty tough with them."

With stakes money on the line, that's the idea.

Two familiar runners missing

You would have to reach back a few years to find an Illinois Day that didn't include at least one of the classy sisters Summer Mis and Julie's Prize, but neither runs Saturday at Hawthorne. Summer Mis has been retired to become a broodmare, and Julie's Prize is working her way back from a lingering foot injury that took her out of action a couple of months ago.

"Julie's swimming down in Lexington [Kentucky], and she should be back at the track in 10 days or two weeks," said trainer Tony Mitchell. "She had a foot bruise, and it was a bugger to get out."

Even lacking these two, Mitchell's cupboard isn't bare. He has two horses to run Saturday for Richard Otto, the owner and breeder of Summer Mis and Julie's Prize: Natural Image in the Illini Princess and King Magic in the High Alexander. And there is the 2-year-old colt Humor at Last, owned by Ron Armstrong and John Wallace, a seven-length debut winner Oct. 16 at Hawthorne.

"This horse, I am kind of excited about," Mitchell said. "He had a very good work, and he came out of it real well."

Marquez heading to Fair Grounds

Carlos Marquez Jr., third in the Hawthorne jockey standings with 20 wins, and in the midst of a strong season, will shift his tack to Fair Grounds later this month. It is a new path for Marquez, but he will have support from trainer Mike Stidham, who typically has strong Fair Grounds meets.

Marquez rode the 2-year-old filly Culinary for Stidham in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, though Culinary faded and finished unplaced.

Marquez's agent, Penny Ffitch-Heyes, said Marquez's departure date had not been cemented. The Fair Grounds meet begins Nov. 25.