06/14/2006 11:00PM

Fillies back vs. peers


Flirt for Fame and Southoftheborder will test how much they learned facing older rivals when they rejoin fellow Massachusetts-bred 3-year-old fillies in Saturday's $40,000 Mystery Jet Stakes at Suffolk Downs.

Southoftheborder exits a victory over older foes in a turf allowance at Tampa Bay Downs in April, one of two scores on the grass the daughter of Senor Conquistador picked up this spring in Florida. She will now have to make the adjustment back to six furlongs despite having failed to finish better than fourth in five one-turn attempts. The father-daughter training team of Lloyd and Lori Lockhart have been pushing her through half-mile workouts during the six weeks since her last race.

Flirt for Fame will try and rebound from a spanking by the leading Mass-bred Ask Queenie - likely to be named 2005 New England horse of the year at the awards dinner

July 17 - in the Isadorable Stakes on June 3. After being bet to 2-1 second choice, Flirt for Fame stumbled out of the gate and found more trouble on the turn. She settled for fourth, beaten more than six lengths by Ask Queenie. Trainer Mike Gorham will switch to Rafael Medina Jr. for the ride this time, replacing Alex Beitia.

While the two top choices have already been tested in difficult races, the Mystery Jet will also provide a barometer on how well Aunt Millie and Sassy Splash have developed since last year. They are among the five entrants in the Mystery Jet who met in last year's Amelia Peabody - finishing one-two - and are making their 3-year-old debut.

Sassy Splash, who gives the Lockharts a potent uncoupled entry, posted a bullet workout June 13. Leading jockey Winston Thompson decided to ride Southoftheborder, so Natasha Bracaloni will be aboard Sassy Splash.

Aunt Millie finished fourth taking on colts in the Norman Hall last fall before going on the shelf for trainer Tom McCooey. Jockey Edwin Molinari, who was aboard for the Peabody win, is back to start this year's campaign.

Caller Sara Kate, who set the pace until fading to second in the Isadorable, is back for the Mystery Jet along with three maidens: Love That Sparkle, Mariska, and Shamrock Patty.

Two officials promoted

Former trainer Susan Walsh has been elevated from steward to chief state steward with the departure of Bill Keene last week, while Sam Elliott, the former assistant racing secretary at Suffolk and a graduate of the University of Arizona's racetrack program, has been hired to fill Walsh's spot.

Two prime dates lost to power failure

Suffolk closed last Friday and Saturday because of a power outage, the second time this year the track was forced to close on a major racing weekend.

The storms that drowned the area for most of last week knocked out a power station Thursday and left Suffolk without the power to simulcast or run live racing on Belmont Day.

Suffolk also was closed on Florida Derby Day in April when the state legislature failed to authorize a simulcasting bill.