06/17/2005 11:00PM

Flint pair the likely choice over Indy Groove


A mare who ran in last fall's Breeders' Cup Distaff is coming to Mountaineer Race Track for Tuesday night's $75,000 Golden Sylvia Handicap. Surprisingly, she isn't likely to go off as the favorite.

Indy Groove, sixth behind Ashado in the BC Distaff at Lone Star Park last October, has finished ahead of only two horses in her first two starts this year. Her shaky current form and an attractive entry from Kentucky-based trainer Bernie Flint probably means the public will favor the Flint duo of Catboat and her stablemate, Tempus Fugit, in the one-mile Golden Sylvia.

Flint is winning with a solid 20 percent of his runners this season, but he has been white-hot whenever he ships into Mountaineer. So far this year, Flint is 20 for 49 - 41 percent - at the Chester, W.Va., oval.

Catboat, a 4-year-old filly, is 0 for 4 in 2005 but 4 for 4 in her career over Mountaineer's main track. As a 3-year-old, Catboat won 6 of 12 starts, including the Grade 3 Arlington BC Oaks.

Catboat's best performances this season have been third-place finishes in the Pippin Stakes at Oaklawn Park and the My Colleen Stakes at Hawthorne. Most recently, Catboat was a close fourth in the Decoration Day Handicap, a mile race on turf, at Mountaineer.

The 5-year-old Tempus Fugit was the fastest mare at Turfway Park during the winter, when she easily won two minor stakes going wire-to-wire. She was used up contesting the early pace last time out when she was ambitiously spotted in the Grade 2 Louisville BC Handicap at Churchill Downs, but figures to be much more competitive in this spot.

Indy Groove will be dangerous if she can regain the form that enabled her to win 3 of 10 starts in 2004, including the Autumn Leaves at Mountaineer, a race which served as her stepping-stone to the BC Distaff. In two starts against allowance company this year, Indy Groove has been fifth of six and fourth of five.

In an attempt to wake her up, trainer Tom Proctor will equip Indy Groove with blinkers for the Golden Sylvia. Her most recent work, presumably with the new equipment, was a six-furlong bullet in 1:13.60 at Churchill.

The sleeper in the field of eight fillies and mares could be Code of Ethics. Although she has raced primarily on turf the past two seasons, the 4-year-old Code of Ethics has won the last two times she has started on dirt, including the Summer Promise over a sloppy surface at Hawthorne.