03/12/2007 11:00PM

How good is Master Mizzen?


This Fair Grounds meet has showcased many talented young horses that have yet to make it onto the national radar screen, but might. What's strange is how many were sired by the young stallion Mizzen Mast, who now has two crops of racing age, and stands for just a $15,000 stud fee in Kentucky.

Mizzen Mast has so far sired only 16 winners, but five of them - all promising to some degree - have raced this winter at Fair Grounds.

Among the New Orleans Mizzen Mast crew was a colt named Master Mizzen, and did he ever look like a runner winning his career debut Feb. 9 in a six-furlong maiden race. Master Mizzen, a Keene Ridge Farm homebred trained by David Carroll, broke alertly that day, tracked a solid pace, and drew off to win by three lengths in a strong time of 1:10.40.

Master Mizzen, who has come back with two fast workouts, may be a horse of considerable quality if he can win the featured ninth race Thursday, a six-furlong, entry-level allowance that drew a strikingly salty 10-horse field.

The likely favorite is Izzie's Halo, a 3-year-old with exponentially more seasoning than once-raced Master Mizzen. Izzie's Halo debuted last July, had made it into stakes company by early September, and wound up with six starts at age 2. He won a Fair Grounds maiden race by more than eight lengths last Dec. 1, then turned in respectable showings in the Lecomte Stakes, where he finished second, and the Risen Star, where Izzie's Halo was a decent fourth of 12. Trainer Tom Amoss appreciated the effort Izzie's Halo had given, but said after the Risen Star that Izzie's Halo would focus for the time being on one-turn races.

On the rail is Great Discovery, who came into the Fair Grounds meet after an easy Churchill Downs maiden win, but flopped twice, and now has been freshened. Demarcation closed strongly in his Dec. 24 career debut to finish second behind Deadly Dealer, a horse who popped onto the Triple Crown scene with an ultra-fast sprint allowance victory earlier this month at Gulfstream Park. Demarcation came back Feb. 9 and scored a determined victory over another Carroll-trained 3-year-old, Tenkiller Lake, who in his next start overcame trouble to win a Fair Grounds allowance route.

Red Cadillac's two starts have come at Delta Downs, but he won second time out by almost seven lengths, and is trained by wily Bubba Cascio. Private Humor was impressive winning a Dec. 15 maiden race, but exits two dreadful showings at Oaklawn Park.