12/16/2004 12:00AM

Flint has top pair in Prairie Bayou


Bernie Flint was looking to have a huge weekend. He was holding out hope that Sweet Catomine would, by some chance, show up Sunday in the Grade 1 Starlet at Hollywood Park, where Flint gladly would have shipped his star 2-year-old filly, Runway Model, in a last-gasp attempt to snatch away a divisional Eclipse Award.

"That was the only way we could get the Eclipse, but obviously that didn't happen," said Flint.

So instead of a great Sunday, Flint will just have to settle for a good Saturday. First, he will take his son, Lance, to watch Louisville host Kentucky in their heated NCAA basketball rivalry, after which he plans to drive north to Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., where he appears to have the ninth running of the $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes well within his reach.

Flint, who holds most of the training records at Turfway, has two outstanding chances to win the Prairie Bayou. He will send out the stable coupling of Discreet Hero, who has posted triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in three of his last five starts, and Ask the Lord, who has won three of five starts at Turfway. In all, a field of eight older horses is entered in the Prairie Bayou, a 1 1/8-mile race.

, an odds-on winner of the Tejano Run at Turfway in March, "He loves it up there at Turfway," added Flint. "He always seems to run his best races up there."

Flint said his pre-race strategy is to send Discreet Hero "to the front and have the other one try to come get him."

Probably the most imposing challenger to the Flint duo is Bonus Pack, who was claimed off a sharp victory last month at Churchill Downs for $80,000 by trainer Greg Foley on behalf of owner Bob Bone.

The rest of the Prairie Bayou field is Mr. Krisley, Solo Cat, Punch, Doc D, and Grey Beard.

Meanwhile, Runway Model, who figures to be no worse than third in the Eclipse voting, is being rested for the next several weeks, said Flint. "She'll go to [Oaklawn Park in] Hot Springs next," he said.

The Prairie Bayou is the 10th of 12 races on a Saturday program that starts at 1:10 p.m.