07/16/2009 12:00AM

Quick pace good for Vito Filitto


Vito Filitto could get a beautiful pace setup Saturday in the $50,000 Minstrel, which is one of two five-furlong turf stakes for 2-year-olds on the card at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La. The $50,000 Princess is for fillies, and it drew a large field of 10.

Vito Filitto will meet seven others in the Minstrel, with three confirmed front-runners situated to his inside: Fly South, Illusive Hunt, and Perfect Lou.

"Going five furlongs in Louisiana, you know they're going to have plenty of pace," said Bernie Flint, who trains Vito Filitto. "He'll come from off of it, but he probably won't be that far off of it."

Vito Filitto figures to be closer to the pace than he found himself in his last start, when he was eight lengths back early in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs on July 3.

"He stumbled, fell on his nose, and lost all chance," Flint said. "He never had a shot."

Vito Filitto finished seventh, one start after a stalking debut maiden win at Churchill Downs on June 6. Francisco Torres has the mount on the gelding, who will be making his turf debut. Vito Filitto is a son of Mutakddim, who is getting 10 percent debut turf winners.

Fly South, who wired the field when winning his debut on May 23, invades from Lone Star for trainer Bret Calhoun. He drew the rail for the Minstrel and will be ridden by Eddie Martin Jr.

"We worked the horse on the grass over there, and he worked great over it," Calhoun said. "I just hate that we're inside all the speed."

Also in the field is Wholelotaking, a debut winner at Evangeline Downs in May. He is a half-brother to Silent Pleasure, a Grade 3 winner who earned more than $500,000.

Princess: Turf pedigree for Cielo Dove

Cielo Dove makes her turf debut in the Princess. Her sire, Dove Hunt, gets 14 percent winners on turf.

"I figured the Dove Hunt would move this horse up on the grass," Calhoun said of targeting the Princess with Cielo Dove.

Cielo Dove was prominent throughout when she won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race at Lone Star in her last start on June 25.

Right to Rule drew out to a 5 1/4-length debut win at Lone Star on May 17 and figures to be coming for Cielo Dove in the late stages. Torres has the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Another who fits is Lemondropsmypop, whose sire, Lemon Drop Kid, gets 14 percent debut turf winners. Her dam, Masada, was a multiple stakes winner of $267,139.