02/03/2011 5:32PM

Speed-favoring Sam Houston turf may better suit Ice Mist's style


Trainer Bernie Flint is hoping Sam Houston’s turf course will be the perfect fit for Ice Mist in Saturday night’s $50,000 Jersey Lilly. He has sent her in from Fair Grounds for the 1 1/16-mile stakes for fillies and mares, and she looks like the speed of the race.

“She’s got to have her kind of course,” Flint said. “She might like the course and she might not like the course. I don’t know. We decided to go over there and try it.”

Ice Mist comes into the Jersey Lilly off a sixth-place finish in the $60,000 Pago Hop at Fair Grounds. She set the pace for six furlongs in the one-mile turf race Dec. 4.

“The Fair Grounds turf doesn’t favor speed horses,” Flint said. “It’s very tiring, very deep, and she didn’t do well over it. She likes a nice, fast course. Not a deep, tiring racetrack.”

Ice Mist relished the footing at Keeneland in October, when she ran second in the Grade  3 Valley View at 20-1. Before that start, she won a second-level optional $45,000 claimer at Kentucky Downs. Ice Mist also captured a first-level allowance at Churchill Downs in July. She set the pace in her recent wins, and has a chance to steal away Saturday.

“She doesn’t have to be on the lead, but she’ll probably find herself out there,” said Flint.

Chris Landeros will ride Ice Mist.

War Tigress could track the pace Saturday – if she runs. She’s cross-entered in a $62,500 optional claimer at Fair Grounds.

“I think the weather is going to be the determining factor,” said Jeff Thornbury, who trains War Tigress. “I’d say we’re leaning toward Sam Houston, but it’s a toss-up, really. I’m not too sure we’ll be on the grass at Fair Grounds. It looks iffy, but we’ll play it by ear.”
War Tigress, a stakes winner on turf, is a consistent horse who was second last out in a third-level optional $80,000 claimer at Churchill on Nov. 20.

“She’s very honest,” said Thornbury, who has given the mount to Bobby Walker Jr.

Others in the 11-horse field include Mizzcan’tbewrong, the third-place finisher in the $58,000 Blushing K.D. at Fair Grounds.