11/11/2008 12:00AM

Misty Lady ripe for rebound


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The "hot horse" is no rare phenomenon at North American racetracks. Whether it's inside information from an owner or stablehand, word leaked from the clocker's stand, or whispers from any number of shaky sources, there is an endless supply of "good things" ready to break from a starting gate somewhere.

Misty Lady was one of those when she made her Northern Hemisphere debut on Oct. 16 at Keeneland. Although she had compiled a nice record in her native Argentina, winning two group races, she still had at least a couple of things going against her: She was returning from a layoff of nearly seven months, and, in general, she would be trying a different brand of competition upon being imported.

Nonetheless, word had spread like wildfire that Misty Lady was the proverbial "any kind," and she was sent away the 6-5 favorite in a field of six. But after showing sharp early speed, Misty Lady had no response when challenged, and she faded to fourth.

"She'd been training really well up to that, but I think she needed the race really bad," said trainer Steve Asmussen. "I still think she's a nice filly."

Misty Lady will get a chance to make amends Thursday when she returns to action in the eighth of 10 races at Churchill Downs, a $51,400 allowance with multiple conditions, including a $100,000 claiming option. With Shaun Bridgmohan riding again, Misty Lady will break from post 1 in a field of seven in the six-furlong race.

"I'm not crazy about drawing the one hole, but it's better than the race not going," said Asmussen. "I think there's a very good chance for her to improve."

If Misty Lady fails to improve, then there are at least a couple of viable candidates among the others. Be Golden, who was burned up on a fierce pace in an Oct. 31 overnight stakes at Churchill is one, as is Control System, a former graded winner who recently moved into the Bernie Flint stable after winning 6 of 11 starts on the East Coast.

One other allowance (race 9) also is carded for Thursday. Diverse, a beaten favorite in 4 of her last 5 starts, will try yet again to get through her first allowance condition when she is part of a full field of fillies and mares in the $44,100 turf route. Robby Albarado has the mount.