05/15/2007 11:00PM

Hot shipper Flint wins Hancock

Email

Kentucky-based trainer Bernie Flint improved his already impressive record in stakes at Mountaineer Racetrack when his 4-year-old filly High Heritage returned from a five-month layoff to capture Tuesday night's $75,000 Hancock County Handicap.

Since January 2005, Flint is 7 for 23 with runners shipped into the Chester, W.Va., track for stakes.

His 30 percent win mark is nearly double his 2007 overall winning percentage of 17.

Ridden by Dana Whitney, High Heritage ($11.20) took the lead in the five-furlong race for fillies and mares at the quarter pole, was challenged by 9-5 favorite Country Diva with a furlong remaining, but responded when Whitney switched his stick to his right hand, and held on by a neck.

Country Diva was clearly second-best, finishing 2 1/4 lengths clear of the Scott Lake-trained Rupert's Prospect.

High Heritage, owned by William Carl, covered the distance on a fast track in 58.59 seconds for her sixth win in 20 starts. She's now 3 for 4 at Mountaineer.

Andrews switching careers

Longtime Mountaineer regular Maureen Andrews closed out her riding career Tuesday but will still work at the track in her new job as a state steward.

Andrews, who turns 43 next month, rode the bulk of her 889 winners at Mountaineer in a career that began in 1986 and included a two-year absence following the birth of her son, Peter, in 1987. By Andrews's count, she won races at 16 difference racetracks, including Suffolk Downs, Rockingham Park, Tampa Bay Downs, and Finger Lakes.

Six of her eight stakes wins came at Mountaineer, including two in 1997 with the mare Star Promotion.

Andrews said she's glad for the chance to remain involved in the game as a steward.

"This opportunity came up very quickly," she said. "I applied and was chosen. It's an opportunity I just can't pass up."

Had Hollywood written the script, Andrews would have gone out in a blaze of glory. But with her son, studying to be a priest, in attendance, she went 0 for 6 on Tuesday, capped by a second-place finish on 2-1 favorite Kanu in the seventh race.

She has no regrets. "I'm going out healthy and happy," she said.