07/23/2010 1:33PM

Ice Mist tough to beat in Arlington allowance


Bernie Flint likes to say that he is “on the other side” of his career, which certainly doesn’t mean the 70-year-old New Orleans native is tapped out of training feats. While relieved that the monumental difficulties facing the racing industry nowadays are going to be someone else’s problems before too long, Flint is still plugging away, winning races at a 20 percent rate in 2010 while savoring whatever remaining time he chooses to keep himself in the game.

During the summers, Flint patrols his longtime Churchill Downs base while keeping close condition books from tracks such as Ellis Park and Arlington Park, where he occasionally commands the spotlight. It is at Arlington where he will turn his attention Sunday, when he will send forth a speedy filly named Ice Mist as the horse to catch and beat in the featured eighth race.

Ice Mist, a 3-year-old Maryland-bred by Forest Danger, really came to hand in recent months, going from a maiden-claiming also-ran to a three-time winner who now figures to be favored for a second-level allowance condition. Flint said maturity and experience were contributing factors in her ascent, not to mention getting her away from dirt surfaces, over which she struggled mightily early in her career.

“She’s just getting good,” Flint said. “She likes the turf and the Polytrack, and it really shows in her numbers. She’s climbed into the 80s on the Beyers in her last couple of races. She’s really in a mode. She’s been running good around here, and I don’t see anything changing.”

Indeed, by earning 83 and 84 Beyers Speed Figures in wire-to-wire triumphs in back-to-back turf races to end her Churchill spring meet, Ice Mist owns a clear edge, figure-wise, on the six fillies and mares who will oppose her in the Sunday feature at the Arlington Heights, Ill., track. The purse for the one-mile Polytrack race is $44,200, although that number includes $11,700 in Illinois bonuses.

If Ice Mist fails to fire, the most likely upsetters include Jitterbug Blues, second in 4 of her 5 starts this year; Sweet N Sour Nina, a sharp last-out winner at Arlington; or Holiday in Dixie, unbeaten in two career outings.

First post for the nine-race card is 1 p.m. Central.