Updated on 09/16/2011 6:56AM

Stymie gets a boost from two Southern shippers


JAMAICA, N.Y. - As the calendar turns to March, the migration of Southern shippers to New York is about to begin. Two horses that have wintered in the south are headed to Aqueduct this week and figure to be major players in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Stymie Handicap.

Duckhorn, who wintered in Florida, and Wild Summer, who has been in Louisiana since late last fall, will add a little spice to the nine-furlong Stymie, the final stakes of the inner track meeting.

Duckhorn, winner of last spring's Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup, is coming off a disappointing 12th-place finish in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap last month at Gulfstream. The Donn was Duckhorn's first start since last July 21, when he finished third in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park. He came out of that race with a chip that was surgically removed.

Trainer Patrick Byrne was not initially targeting the Donn for Duckhorn's return, but the horse was training so well at Gulfstream, he opted to take a shot. After being part of the early pace, Duckhorn backed up and finished 16 lengths behind Mongoose.

"I was a little disappointed with his performance in the Donn,' Byrne said Monday from Ocala, Fla. "Coming off the layoff, that's not the spot you would pick out, but the horse trained exceptionally well. Historically, he hasn't run well over Gulfstream. One of the things that might help this horse is a change of scenery.'

Duckhorn, who breezed six furlongs in 1:12.80 on Feb. 27, was scheduled to blow out early Tuesday morning then leave by van for New York.

Richard Migliore is booked to ride Duckhorn, who was assigned highweight of 118 pounds for the Stymie.

At the other end of the scale is Wild Summer, who gets in with 111 pounds. A 4-year-old son of Wild Again, Wild Summer was mired in his second-level allowance condition for five months in New York, where he had the misfortune of running into the likes of subsequent stakes winners Mongoose and Ubiquity.

Trainer Bill Badgett shipped Wild Summer to Louisiana, where he won his second-level allowance condition in an off-the-turf race on Nov. 25. He came back to win an optional claiming event on Jan. 19 in the slop.

"He's kind of maturing mentally and physically,' trainer Bill Badgett said Monday from Fair Grounds. "I thought his last two races were very good; one horse he beat came back to win a Louisiana-bred stakes.'

Last Friday, Wild Summer breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60 at Fair Grounds. He left by van on Sunday and was scheduled to arrive Monday at Belmont. Mike Luzzi will ride.

Others expected to run in the Stymie, and their weight assignments, are Ground Storm (117), Pleasant Divorce (114), Top Official (113), and Tempest Fugit (111). Possible starters include Coyote Lakes (116), Private Ryan (115), Judge's Case (112), Pickupspeed (112), and Flying Baron (111).

Monday, at Belmont, Flying Baron worked six furlongs in 1:13.62 while Ground Storm blew out four furlongs in 48.23 seconds.

She's Got the Beat down pat

She's Got the Beat made it three wins in a row Saturday, taking a second-level New York-bred allowance race by six lengths. All three wins have come since transferring to trainer Phil Johnson's barn.

Johnson said Monday that She's Got the Beat, a 3-year-old daughter of Sultry Song, may run next in either the $100,000 Cicada Stakes on March 23 or the $75,000 Broadway Handicap on April 7. Both races are run at seven furlongs. The Broadway is restricted to New York-breds.

Originally in the barn of Kelly Breen, She's Got the Beat was hampered by gate problems early in her career. Owner Elizabeth Walsh moved She's Got the Beat to Johnson in late December and Johnson schooled the filly in the gate three to four times a week. It has paid off handsomely with three victories.

On Jan. 9, She's Got the Beat won her maiden by 12 lengths, and came back a month later with a half-length victory in an entry-level state-bred allowance heat. Saturday, she sat neatly off a two-horse duel and was hand-ridden to victory by Shaun Bridgmohan.

"My gut feeling is she'll run a mile and a quarter,' Johnson said. "The fact she's fast shouldn't condemn her from running a distance.'

Comic Genius may not stop

In a race with several front-running types, Comic Genius may be the speed of the speed in nonwinners-of-three-lifetime allowance feature Wednesday as Aqueduct's final week of racing over the inner track begins.

Though a son of Unbridled, Comic Genius has recorded his two victories in sprints, winning his maiden at Santa Anita last March before coming east last summer. Comic Genius, trained by Boston-based Peter Bazeos, is coming off a 13-length victory in a preliminary allowance race at Aqueduct.

Indixie finished third to repeat winner Little Rich last time out and should work out a stalking trip under Richard Migliore. Go Bam Bam Go and Redneck Etiquette could upset the top two.