09/25/2001 11:00PM

Steve Flint goes solo with Outofthebox


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Outofthebox, who gave trainer Bernie Flint his first Grade 1 win when he captured the $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs Sunday, was to be transferred to the care of Flint's son, Steve Flint, on Thursday. The transfer enables the younger Flint to set up a public stable after spending the past 22 years as his father's assistant. Steve Flint's chief clients will be Bertram, Elaine, and Richard Klein, who race Outofthebox.

"[Bernie] recommended we take all of our horses to Steve," said Richard Klein, whose family has had horses with the elder Flint since 1993. "I think he's looking out for his son, giving him an opportunity to start his own [business]. We're very comfortable with the changeover because Steve has done an excellent job with all the horses. If we didn't feel like it was in the best interest of our horses, we wouldn't make the switch."

Steve Flint said the Kleins, who have raced stakes winners Hurricane Bertie, Swept Away, Stay Sound, Da Bertie, Hidden Assets, and Thunder Bertie, would have about 15 horses with him this fall at Churchill Downs, then about 30 this winter at Gulfstream Park.

Outofthebox, who is under consideration for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park on Oct. 27, is among the Klein horses based at Churchill Downs.

"He came out of the Super Derby 100 percent," said Flint. "I'm going to gallop him for about a week, and right after we work him back the first time, we'll make a decision on what we plan to do with him. We're looking at all of our options."

Flint said he is grateful to the Kleins and his father for the opportunity to train on his own for the first time in his career. He has served as his father's assistant since 1979, and during that time Bernie Flint won training titles at nine different tracks, including Churchill Downs and Ellis Park. "I enjoyed working for my father. He was a very good teacher, and gave me a vast amount of experience," said Steve, 40.

French Assault zeroes in on BC Juvenile

French Assault, a Louisiana Downs-based colt who finished second in the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Juvenile last Saturday at Turfway Park, will ship to Belmont Park this weekend to prepare for a possible start in the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Oct. 27, said trainer Keith Desormeaux.

"We're going to assess our options once we get to New York," said Desormeaux. "If we like what we see in the next few weeks - if he comes out of this last race with some vigor and likes the surface there - we're going to go for the Juvenile.

"He ran an awesome race in Kentucky," added Desormeaux. "He's getting better with every race, stepping it up a notch each time, and if he does that again, he fits right there with the best of them."

Jockey Kent Desormeaux, who is Keith's brother, was aboard French Assault for the Kentucky Cup Juvenile, and could ride the colt in the Breeders' Cup. Before the Kentucky Cup Juvenile, French Assault romped by more than 10 lengths in the $100,000 El Joven Stakes Retama Park near San Antonio on Sept. 1.

Nanie's Dinner out for six months

Nanie's Dinner, a 4-year-old winner of $351,060 who finished fourth in the $150,000 River Cities Handicap at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 15, came out of the race with a fractured left knee. She will undergo surgery in Texas, then rehabilitate at Benchmark Training Center near Dallas.

"She should be ready to run back at Lone Star. That's the prognosis," said trainer Larry Robideaux Jr., who trains Nanie's Dinner. Robideaux said if Nanie's Dinner comes back well, his goal is to get her earnings to $500,000.

Nanie's Dinner won the $50,000 Sangue Handicap, the $40,000 Honeymoon, and finished second in the $40,000 Delicada in four starts this meet at Louisiana Downs.