02/07/2002 12:00AM

Familiar standouts figure as favorites


When they last met under the lights at Turfway Park, Miss Pickums was a solid favorite over Seven Four Seven in a Jan. 23 allowance race.

Funny how that works. When they meet again Saturday afternoon at Turfway in Florence, Ky., it's hard to say who will be the favorite: Seven Four Seven, who posted an emphatic 6 1/2-length victory in that race at 5-1, or Miss Pickums, who as a graded winner is still well regarded despite her disappointing fourth-place finish at 8-5 that night.

In any case, the connections for both 4-year-old fillies are highly familiar to Turfway fans, and that is a major reason both will take solid play in the $50,000 Likely Exchange Stakes, a one-mile race that drew a full field of 12 fillies and mares.

Bernie Flint and Paul McGee, whose career stakes wins at Turfway trail only all-time leader D. Wayne Lukas, are the respective trainers of Seven Four Seven and Miss Pickums.

Seven Four Seven, owned by Pollack Farm, clearly is the hottest filly in the field, having won three of her last four starts, including back-to-back allowance wins at Turfway at this same one-mile distance. A Colonial Affair filly, she won just once in her first 10 starts before suddenly coming to hand for Flint, who has won more meet titles at Turfway than any other trainer in track history.

Miss Pickums, owned by Jan, Mace, and Samantha Siegel, made a name for herself in the fall of 2000 when capturing the Grade 3 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs. Since then, Miss Pickums, an Afternoon Deelites filly, has had some minor physical problems while compiling an 0-for-5 record, with her best effort during that losing streak being a narrow defeat in the My Charmer here in December.

McGee said the Likely Exchange possibly could be the last career start for Miss Pickums, especially if she does not run to expectations Saturday.

Aside from the two probable favorites, the balance of the field appears fairly well matched.

Powerful Package, a new shooter from Maryland, has been competitive in similar kinds of races back home, usually earning a check without winning. She now is trained by John Bell IV, which, at this time of year, typically means she is making a brief stopover before finding her way to a central Kentucky breeding farm to begin a new career.

Reflected Gold is a decent prospect if you forgive her last two efforts. Before those debacles, she won three of four starts for trainer Elliott Walden, including two allowance wins at Turfway.

The Likely Exchange, named for a standout mare on the Kentucky circuit in the mid-1970's, is the 10th of 12 Saturday races. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.

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