04/01/2008 12:00AM

Sismix stays behind for U.S. debut

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - April signifies the beginning of an exodus of horses leaving south Florida for the season. Some of the bigger outfits are already gone, although some trainers, like Todd Pletcher, did leave behind a number of runners who either need the softer competition they'll encounter here this spring or the Gulfstream Park turf course, which figures to receive plenty of action during the final three weeks of the 2008 meet.

A case in point is Sismix, a 4-year-old Irish-bred filly who looks like the horse to beat in her U.S. debut here Thursday. She faces first-level allowance rivals going 1 1/8 miles on the grass.

Sismix has raced exclusively in France, where she tried Group 1 opposition at 2 and was Group 3 stakes-placed at 2 and 3. She has not started since finishing far back in the Group 2 Prix Chloe in July. A daughter of Diesis, Sismix has been in training this winter with Pletcher at Palm Beach Downs, where she shows six works, including a bullet half-mile in 49 seconds over a good track on March 15. Ariel Smith has the riding assignment.

Like Sismix, America Nova will be returning from a lengthy layoff and making her U.S. bow after racing exclusively in France as a 2- and 3-year-old. America Nova captured a listed stakes when winning her maiden at 2 and tried Group 1 competition as a 3-year-old at Longchamp, where she was overmatched in the Prix Saint-Alary.

Trained by Marty Wolfson, America Nova, a daughter of the Irish sire Verglas, has only two recorded works in preparation for her return, both half-mile breezes over the main track at Calder.

America Nova is one of two horses Wolfson will send postward in Thursday's main event, along with Awesome Alexandra, the winningest member of the starting lineup with 5 victories from 14 starts. Wolfson claimed Awesome Alexandra for $25,000 in the interests of Farnsworth Stables Limited out of a third-place finish over the main track on March 10. She defeated $10,000 starter allowance opposition over the turf here on Jan. 4.

Rushin Rahy has won 4 of her 5 starts over the Gulfstream turf, including her three outings this winter. Trained by Milt Wolfson (no relation to Marty) Rushin Rahy rallied from near the rear of the pack in each of those triumphs, including a hard-fought nose decision against $20,000 starter allowance rivals on March 10.