03/18/2005 12:00AM

Good news, bad news for Flint shippers

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STICKNEY, Ill. - A Friday trip to Hawthorne was half-successful for the Kentucky-based horses of trainer Bernie Flint. The odds-on, Flint-trained favorite Im a Dixie Girl finished a distant second in the $42,000 Parts Unknown Stakes, but Ask the Lord rebounded from three sub-par efforts to win a high-end optional claiming race to begin the day.

Hawthorne's racing surface was deep and tiring on Friday; six-furlong times ranged from the high 1:12's all the way to the 1:15 range. Ask the Lord, who won four times and almost $200,000 in 2004, handled the surface, but Im a Dixie Girl never appeared comfortable, racing between horses with her ears pinned, while seeming to spin her wheels around the far turn. When Im a Dixie Girl got into the clear in the stretch, she made a mild run on the far outside, but she was no match for the 11-1 upset winner, an Illinois-bred named Cart's Turn.

Trained by Hector Magana, Cart's Turn ($25) won for the first time since August, running six furlongs in a glacial 1:14.72.

In the first race, the 10-year-old Magic Doe bounded out to a clear early lead, but that was the wrong place to be Friday at Hawthorne. Magic Doe was collared coming around the far turn by heavily favored Stormy Impact, but Ask the Lord ($10.60), showing spark for the first time in a couple months, gradually wore him down in an extended stretch battle.

Allowance split into two divisions

One big field became two small fields, and the Sunday afternoon feature a pair of co-features, when 12 horses entered an Illinois-bred second-level sprint allowance. The split allowance was carded consecutively, as races 4 and 5 on a nine-race program.

The fifth race marks the 2005 debut of Meadow Bride, who won the $116,000 Pat Whitworth Debutante by almost sixth lengths here in her final start last season. She went 2 for 4 as a 2-year-old filly, with good wins going short and long, and she brings a long string of steady works to this race for trainer Richard Hazelton.

Meadow Bride, however, is a race behind Lady Laverne in terms of fitness. Lady Laverne scored by more than three lengths on Feb. 27, and is well drawn on the rail to use her good early speed.

Miss Classified and Miss Denouncer are the sharp horses in the fourth. Miss Classified comes in after a comfortable victory here March 4 in an Illinois-bred entry-level allowance. With only five starts, Miss Classified still has upside, and with post 5, she can get the same kind of stalking trip that led to a win last time.

Miss Denouncer, third by a half-length last out in a race at this class level, has post 1 and speed, and probably will try to win from the front.

Tomillo's horses heating up

You could find trainer Tom Tomillo at his usual spot in the Hawthorne clubhouse on Friday afternoon - a far, far better place than where Tomillo was in February.

In New Orleans for the Fair Grounds meet over the winter, Tomillo developed fluid around his heart, a situation that required a draining procedure much like the one recently performed on former president Bill Clinton.

"I was in the hospital a couple weeks," Tomillo said. "It wasn't that bad."

Tomillo also underwent a regular laser treatment on his eyes. Tomillo said his sight isn't perfect, but it's serviceable.

"I can see well enough to read the Form and enter these horses," he said.

Many have recently been well spotted. Tomillo's arsenal of claimers started the meet here slowly, but his horses have picked up steam, and through Tuesday, Tomillo had eight wins, good for third in the trainer standings.

Stakes-caliber pair getting sharp

The trainer Tony Granitz has a pair of stakes horses readying for their 2005 debut at Hawthorne, and both turned in workouts here Thursday. Code of Ethics, who is being pointed to the Sixty Sails on April 23, went a half-mile in 53.20 seconds, while Wiggins, among the best in the older Illinois-bred route division, worked the same distance in 49.20.

"Code of Ethics worked early in the morning, when the track still was pretty dead," Granitz said.

Code of Ethics will get a prep for the Sixty Sails, either in an overnight stakes or a fourth-level allowance. She finished her 3-year-old season with a close second to the good filly Shadow Cast in the Dec. 18 Pago Hop at Fair Grounds.