03/31/2005 12:00AM

Tempus Fugit's time to fly


Trainer Bernie Flint, having already won five stakes at Turfway Park since the Churchill Downs meet ended in late November, appears set to win a sixth when he starts Tempus Fugit and Ringo's Cat in the $50,000 Fairway Fun at Turfway Saturday.

Tempus Fugit, likely an overwhelming favorite, gives Flint his best opportunity. She has already won two stakes at Turfway this year: the Feb. 12 Likely Exchange and the March 12 Wintergreen. The first of those two victories came by 3 1/4 lengths, the second by 9 1/4 lengths.

The outcome was never in doubt in either race. She sped to the lead, broke the will of those chasing her by setting a fast pace, and kept going.

Besides dominating the opposition, she ran quickly. She earned a 95 Beyer Speed Figure for winning the Likely Exchange then leapt up to a 107 in the Wintergreen, when she ran a mile in 1:34.95. Only the Flint-trained Danieltown, who ran a 111 Beyer in winning an overnight handicap last week, has run a higher Beyer this winter at Turfway.

Tempus Fugit carries high weight of 121 pounds in the Fairway Fun, which should prove a relatively minor obstacle. She carried the same weight in the Wintergreen when she spotted each of her rivals seven pounds or more.

A more significant hurdle is the stretchout from a mile to the Fairway Fun's 1 1/16-mile distance. She is winless in three starts at 1 1/16 miles, with two seconds and a fourth-place finish in three attempts at the distance. She did win her maiden at 1 1/8 miles at Keeneland earlier in her career. Dean Sarvis rides.

Ringo's Cat, like her uncoupled stablemate Tempus Fugit, enters the Fairway Fun on a roll. A winner of three straight starts, she comes off a 10-length triumph in an entry-level allowance March 12. Previously, she had raced mainly in claiming races. Regular jockey Juan Molina Jr. rides.

The two main threats to the Flint duo are Beau Watch, winner of the Pleasant Temper Stakes at Kentucky Downs Sept. 18, and My Ro, who ran third in an optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park Feb. 27.

Both fillies possess speed, although they are unaccustomed to the demanding early fractions typically set by Tempus Fugit.