05/05/2005 11:00PM

Goldfine turns to Atlantic Frost for first victory


STICKNEY, Ill. - It has been a Murphy's Law kind of meet for trainer Mickey Goldfine. When his horse has needed the lead, he has broken slowly. When his horse has needed pace to run at, he has gotten none. The sum of all those bits of bad fortune is that Goldfine still seeks his first win of the season as the National Jockey Club at Hawthorne meet trickles down to its final days.

Maybe things will turn around in the $40,000 Nicole Stakes, the featured sixth race on the Sunday program here. The Nicole is for older fillies at 1 1/16 miles on turf, and Goldfine has a horse who fits in Atlantic Frost, one of eight entries.

was noodling through a career as a one-turn dirt horse when Goldfine switched her to grass late last summer at Arlington. The change was immediate. Atlantic Frost won a maiden race there by more than four lengths and came right back with an easy victory over entry-level allowance horses here at Hawthorne. Used up on the pace from post 10 in her next start, Atlantic Frost shipped to Florida to winter at Tampa Bay Downs, where she quickly won a second-level allowance. She then finished third in two subsequent tries with third-level allowance horses.

The Nicole is about the same kind of race, and Atlantic Frost has a couple of things going for her. First, she has tactical speed, a major asset in this relatively paceless spot. When she won here in November, Atlantic Frost sat behind one horse and moved coming off the turn, a trip she might duplicate Sunday. Second, Atlantic Frost ran at Tampa a month ago, giving her a recency edge on several of her opponents Sunday.

Among the layoff horses is , who has won twice and been second once in three tries over this turf course. Chequered Love's trainer, Charlie Livesay, is a capable horseman who can prepare a horse off works. Chequered Love won her first start last season, but she prefers to sit back and make a late run. She would be negatively impacted by slow early fractions.

is the wild card. A blowout winner of two straight dirt allowance races, Ringo's Cat will race from the front in Sunday's race, but only if she runs. The filly has done little in two turf starts, and trainer Bernie Flint might be hoping for a weather-induced switch to the main track.