12/16/2002 12:00AM

Shawklit Mint ready for the big time


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Shawklit Mint had shown consistency, but hadn't done anything flashy until last Thursday.

A 3-year-old New York-bred who is owned by Flatbird Stable, Shawklit Mint won an open-company allowance at Aqueduct by nine lengths and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 108. Her time in the third-level allowance was a quick 1:09.93 for six furlongs. Her previous career-high Beyer was a 96.

Shawklit Mint, a winner of 3 of her last 6 starts, is now under consideration for the $75,000-added Interborough Handicap over Aqueduct's inner track on New Year's Day. The Interborough could lead to a start in the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel Park on Feb. 15.

Shawklit Mint, a daughter of Air Forbes Won, has a record of 6-3-6 from 17 starts and $231,113 in earnings. She is 3 for 4 over the inner track.

"Her record is kind of deceptive because she doesn't jump right off the page at you," said Shawklit Mint's trainer, Pat Reynolds. "She usually doesn't throw in a bad one without a reason, but she's never done anything eye-catching like she did the other day"

Shawklit Mint has lost each of the three stakes she has run in. Reynolds said she had excuses for her seventh-place finish in the Grade 3 Safely Kept at Pimlico in September and her third in the Schenectady at Belmont Park eight days later. In her other stakes start, Shawklit Mint finished third behind subsequent Grade 1 winner Carson Hollow in the Bouwerie in May at Belmont.

"She got knocked around in the Safely Kept, and it was a murderous field," Reynolds said. "[The Schenectady] was back too quick. When she ran against Carson Hollow, she was the only horse in the race to challenge [the winner] and she still hung in there to pick up a piece of it."

Reynolds said that Flatbird Stable's Grade 1 winner Peeping Tom is back in serious training after spending several months at Silvernails Farm in Pine Plains, N.Y. Reynolds said the 5-year-old gelding is about two weeks away from a race.

Peeping Tom, who won the Grade 1 Carter in 2001, tailed off considerably this year. In his last start, Peeping Tom, who has been plagued by foot problems throughout his career, finished sixth in a $50,000 claimer at Belmont in June.

Only five confirmed for Ladies

A small field is likely for Saturday's $100,000-added Ladies Handicap, a Grade 3 stakes for fillies and mares.

As of Monday, the probables for the 1 1/4-mile Ladies are With Ability (118 pounds), Critical Eye (116), Unrestrained (114), Along Came Mary (113), and Wishful Splendor (110). The racing office has Ellie's Moment and Las Malvinas listed as possibles.

Critical Eye, who will be bred next year, needs only $3,456 to reach $1 million in earnings.

With Ability, a graded stakes winner who will run as an entry with Unrestrained, could make a couple of more starts after the Ladies before she is bred in February, according to trainer Mark Hennig.

With Ability, an easy winner of a classified allowance over the inner track in her last start, has $546,310 in earnings for her owner and breeder, Edward P. Evans.

"She'll be missed when she goes to the breeding shed," Hennig said.

- The Anna House, the Belmont Park day care center for the children of track workers, will open for business between Jan. 1 and Jan. 15, according to Donna Chenkin, the executive director of the Belmont Child Care Association. Last week during an open house, 30 families toured the facility, which will accommodate up to 80 children. The day care center, located on Belmont's backstretch, is open for registration daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

- The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has created an employee of the month award for backstretch workers. The award will be given to anyone on the backstretch "who steps forward and accomplishes something" that helps the backstretch, a Thoroughbred, or the industry. To recommend an individual, contact the NYTHA office at Aqueduct. Prizes will be given to the monthly award winners.