07/20/2001 12:00AM

No turf form makes Horizon a guessing game


Sunday's $50,000 Horizon Stakes at River Downs might not be won by the best horse, but instead by the one who is most able to handle running on the turf.

Like their filly counterparts who competed in last week's Cincinnatian Stakes, the nine Ohio-bred 3-year-olds in the Horizon have nearly no experience on turf. The one exception, Boodles Brown, didn't run particularly well in his only attempt over this course.

Fans may settle on Turkowar as the slight favorite in the 1 1/16-mile race. Trained by Joseph Shuman, Turkowar has been on a roll lately, winning two restricted allowances at Thistledown. Normally a pacesetter, Turkowar showed a new dimension last out by rallying from off the pace to win going away.

Boodles Brown might be forgiven his sixth-place finish in his turf debut. He was facing open company and older horses that day, but subsequently won a photo and lost a photo in two allowances in the mud, a condition that can hint at a horse's turf ability.

Other contenders include Step Child, a dual stakes winner at 2 who finished last in his seasonal debut at Thistledown; Foxy Fritzy, who has placed in 6 of his 10 starts; and Flight's Moto Kid, who has turf influences in his pedigree and has been working fast in recent weeks.