12/08/2005 12:00AM

Original Spin's absence opens door

Email

CHICAGO - The horse who probably would win the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante is nowhere near Hawthorne Race Course. Original Spin, the Illinois-bred 2-year-old filly who finished third in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, is taking a break in Aiken, S.C., until sometime next year. Original Spin has locked up an Illinois championship in her division, but somebody else is going to take away the winner's share of a $100,000 purse Saturday.

For two horses, the first issue is getting here. A wide swath of snow blanketed the middle part of the country Thursday, potential trouble for Churchill Downs-based entrants .

"If we can get her up there tomorrow, I'm running," said Helen Pitts, trainer of Trick of the South.

If everyone makes it to Hawthorne, eight will start in the Debutante, a 1 1/16-mile race. Trick of the South has never raced on dirt, nor has she faced Illinois-breds before. After winning her two-turn grass debut in an Oct. 30 Churchill Downs maiden race, Trick of the South was last of 10 in the Caressing Stakes, but Pitts believes a change in strategy will help.

"The main thing is she needs to run free," Pitts said. "In that grass stake at Churchill, I think it'd have been better to let her run free."

Storm Rolling In, from the Dale Romans barn, finished sixth in the Caressing and was third at Arlington in a maiden race for statebreds. But the Arlington maiden loss came at six furlongs, and Storm Rolling In looks like a horse who has improved at longer distances.

Two turns may hamper Lovely Love and help Lampoon, the second- and fourth-place finishers in the Showtime Deb Stakes a month ago at Hawthorne. Lovely Love has four seconds and a win in five starts, and the speed of a sprinter. Although she has lost ground late in her last three starts, Lampoon - a daughter of the turf route mare Wade for Me - improved position the three times she sprinted. One of two horses entered by trainer Brian Williamson, Lampoon has worked swiftly since her close fourth in the Showtime Deb, and despite a wide post may be the horse to beat.

Williamson's other entry, Jambalaya Joy, looks less talented than her stablemate, and Rolling Sea and Flama Del Sol may be no more than pace factors. Cause She's Crafty could spring an upset, though her trainer, Chris Block, said he believes her future may lie on turf.

"She was nominated to this a long time ago, and the plan always was to run here if she was training well and had progressed decently," Block said.