03/14/2008 11:00PM

Lady Belsara takes on the boys

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A filly already has defeated the boys in one noteworthy stakes at Turfway Park this month. Now, Matt Kintz wants to see it happen again Monday.

Kintz will send out Lady Belsara, a multiple stakes-winning mare, as the likely favorite against nine male rivals in the $50,000 St. Patrick's Day Handicap. The race comes 16 days after Absolutely Cindy outran colts and geldings in the John Battaglia Memorial at the Florence, Ky., track.

"I've run fillies versus boys for certain reasons before," said Kintz, a 37-year-old trainer who currently is based primarily at Mountaineer Park. "It's not that big a deal. With this mare, she likes Polytrack so much, I wanted to keep her racing on it, and I really wanted to give her the time she needs before her next race."

That next race would be the Grade 2, $200,000 Vinery Madison, a seven-furlong race set for April 9 on the Keeneland Polytrack. Kintz said he considered keeping Lady Belsara with her own gender in the $50,000 Queen Stakes, a six-furlong race on the Lane's End Stakes undercard Saturday at Turfway, "but the extra five days between races was the difference. I just want everything right going into the Madison. It's a big race for us."

Kintz won the Magic City Classic, an Alabama-bred stakes, at River Downs in 2006 when pitting the filly Fancy Empire against male rivals.

Lady Belsara, with Bill Troilo to ride, will break from the rail in the six-furlong St. Pat's, which anchors a special Monday card as the eighth of nine races. A 5-year-old Boundary mare owned by the At the Moment Stables, Lady Belsara has won 6 of 12 career starts, with victories in the Grade 3 Chicago Handicap and the Wishing Well accounting for a good chunk of her $243,940 bankroll. She enters off an easy win in a Feb. 13 allowance at Turfway.

If Lady Belsara is to falter, the most likely upsetters would be Timbucto, Korbyn Gold, or Atticus Kristy, the respective 1-2-3 finishers in a Feb. 24 allowance prep at Turfway. The early pace in the St. Pat's figures quick, especially with Blazing Bull, entered off Charles Town sprints, in the lineup.

Turfway normally is dark Mondays, but the track is partly making up for earlier programs lost to weather-related cancellations. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.