12/19/2006 1:00AM

Mykindasaint's third act set to begin


Mykindasaint made her first three starts at Lone Star Park, Calder Race Course, and Louisiana Downs, and went to New York in the fall of 2005 ready for a brighter stage. Trainer Bubba Cascio turned the 2-year-old filly over to an old friend from Quarter Horse days, D. Wayne Lukas, and was notified by Lukas that Mykindasaint might be any kind of horse.

"What did you send me?" Cascio recalls Lukas asking after watching Mykindasaint blow away two workmates in a morning breeze.

Cascio had intended to start Mykindasaint in a $100,000 sprint race. Lukas suggested the Grade 1 Frizette at one mile. And then everything started unraveling. Mykindasaint wound up dueling on a suicidal pace in the Frizette, finishing a distant sixth. Back a month later for the Pocahontas at Churchill, she wound up last of 12, and came back with chips in both knees. Seven months later Mykindasaint made it back to the races for Cascio, losing by a neck in an Evangeline Downs comeback, then finishing last of eight in the Azalea Breeders' Cup at Calder. She displaced her soft palate in the Azalea, and shortly thereafter underwent surgery to repair that problem.

This is the third phase of Mykindasaint's career, and it started well, with a sharp fourth-level allowance win Nov. 26 at Fair Grounds. On Friday, Mykindasaint climbs the class ladder to run in a listed stakes, the $75,000 Esplanade, which attracted nine entries.

"She got to displacing so bad, I didn't know if she was going to come back or not," Cascio said. "When they've been laid off and had an operation, you always wonder. But she pulled up real good from that last race, and came back working good. She's always showed she had the talent."

The big horse in the Esplanade is Hot Storm, a 10-time winner who's approaching $800,000 in earnings.

Devilment likely to skip Bradley

Devilment came out of his win Saturday in the Buddy Diliberto Memorial Handicap in good physical condition, trainer Malcolm Pierce said, but Pierce reiterated Tuesday that he is inclined to skip the Jan. 13 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap in favor of the Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup on Feb. 10, and possibly a start in the $500,000 Mervin Muniz Handicap a month later.

"He's in good order, but I'm still thinking about passing on the next stake," Pierce said. "I'll probably nominate him - nothing's written in stone."

Mike Stidham trained the 4-year-old Devilment for the first nine starts of his career, but the Pin Oak Stable of Josephine Abercrombie moved Devilment and a horse named Zetetic from Stidham's Arlington barn to Pierce's Woodbine outfit this summer. Arlington was then experiencing a rash of breakdowns, and many owners grew concerned about training and racing over the surface. Pierce has trained for Pin Oak for three years, he said, and benefited from being stabled at a track that already had installed a more forgiving synthetic track surface.

Purim, who finished sixth as the heavy favorite in the Diliberto, also came out of the race in good shape, trainer Tom Proctor said. Purim hadn't raced since June, and Proctor believed his horse simply had tired in the stretch after prompting the pace.

"He probably needed a race, you know," Proctor said.

Purim is possible for the Bradley.

* Saturday's stakes is the Bonapaw, scheduled for 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf, but it could easily get moved to the main track, with rain in the New Orleans forecast starting Wednesday night. Horsemen seem to be looking at the Bonapaw as a dirt race. Of the 13 entered in the race, only two could legitimately be labeled established grass horses.