06/25/2010 12:00AM

Cincinnatian right spot for Festive Girl


CINCINNATI, Ohio - Festive Girl will be making her turf debut when she faces seven other Ohio-accredited 3-year-old fillies in the $50,000 Cincinnatian at River Downs on Sunday. The Cincinnatian will be run at 1 1/16 miles over the turf.

Festive Girl won her 2010 debut April 17 over entry-level statebred allowance foes here. In her last out on May 21, she finished a well-beaten fourth in a statebred allowance. Trainer Doug Cowans thinks he knows what happened.

"She was just beat by some better horses," he said. "They were older horses and it was a two-other-than. Some of them had won 12 to 15 races."

Cowans thinks that the return to her own age group and to the accredited ranks will help.

"I think this is a much better spot and she should like the distance," Cowans said.

Cowans is winning at a 41 percent clip this year, and coupled with jockey Dean Sarvis, the regular rider of Festive Girl, he has won at an outstanding 53 percent this meet.

Cowans is confident Festive Girl is ready for a top effort.

"She has worked really well since her last race and I don't think the distance will be a problem," he said. "Last year she ran second in the Glacial Princess, another accredited race going a mile, and she should have won it."

In the stretch run of the Nov. 7 Glacial Princess, the winner, Haba Heart, drifted in and out through the stretch, bothering Festive Girl.