09/15/2004 11:00PM

Mayo on the Side flip-flop fave

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Cuvee will make his second start since flopping in the BC Juvenile.

FLORENCE, Ky. - When Mayo on the Side has been good, she has been very good. She beat Azeri in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on the Kentucky Derby undercard in May, and has been good enough in her 24-race career to win seven races and amass more than $550,000 in earnings.

But when is bad, she can be pretty bad. She has taken her lumps a couple of times this summer, including fourth-place finishes in the Chicago Breeders' Cup at Arlington Park and Go for Wand at Saratoga.

So what can fans expect when the 5-year-old mare breaks from post 2 as the favorite Saturday in the $175,000 Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes?

"That's what we'll all be there to see," said trainer Carl Nafzger. "I always try to get bring 'em over there at their best, you know that. The rest is up to the horse."

Two 4-year-old fillies with graded stakes wins this summer loom the top challengers in the Turfway BC: La Reason, winner of the Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park, and Angela's Love, winner of the Gardenia at Ellis Park. Four other fillies and mares are entered in the Turfway BC, a Grade 2 race at 1 1/16 miles.

The Turfway BC goes as the 12th of 14 races.

Top sprinters coming off layoffs

Layoffs are the overriding variable in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (race 13) since the two logical favorites, Cuvee and Heckle, both have past performance lines that scream out about lengthy rests.

, trained by Steve Asmussen, was sidelined with a knee chip after losing badly as the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last fall. After a comeback race in May, he got a lung infection, then had his training schedule altered by poor weather.

"He's had some tough luck that he didn't deserve," said Asmussen. "Hopefully, we can begin making up for it Saturday."

, trained by Todd Pletcher, took 13 months off after exiting a loss in the Sanford Stakes in July 2003 with an ankle chip. The gray colt ran admirably in his recent comeback when second against older horses on Aug. 28 in a Saratoga allowance.

Four other 3-year-olds are entered in the Sprint, with Silver Minister, a four-time winner at Turfway, being the most accomplished.

The Sprint probably has been the most productive Kentucky Cup race in the 10-year history of the event, with Reraise (1998) and Cajun Beat (2003) going on to win the BC Sprint after winning the Kentucky Cup Sprint.

Juvenile stakes each draw seven

Trainer Bernie Flint has had more things to worry about lately than horse racing. Flint, 64, recently was released from a Louisville hospital after suffering blood clots in his legs and lungs.

Saturday, Flint will have his attention momentarily diverted from his health woes when goes for her second stakes victory in 15 days in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies (race 9).

"If I feel all right, I'm going to try to make it up there for the race," said Flint, the all-time leader in most trainer categories at Turfway. "If not, I've got a lot of good help that's carried me through a lot of spots."

Im a Dixie Girl, with Willie Martinez to ride, will be favored against six other 2-year-old fillies after beating a solid group in the Sept. 4 Bassinet Stakes at River Downs.

"The numbers guys say she's good, real good," said Flint. "I could've worked her toward another race, but I thought stretching her out in this race was the right thing to do."

Im a Dixie Girl and fellow Juvenile Fillies entrant are the only two stakes winners in either of the 2-year-old stakes here Saturday.

In the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile (race 10), the solid favorite will be Storied Cat, a D. Wayne Lukas-trained colt who won only a Saratoga maiden race in his latest start but still was made the even-money favorite on the Turfway morning line.

United, trained by George Weaver, and Sequoia Grove, an 11th-hour entry for trainer Ralph Nicks, probably are the main threats among six others in the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile.