08/28/2002 11:00PM

Two hope for better fortune this time


Ralph Ziadie felt a fast and contentious pace cost his 4-5 favorite Trust N Luck the victory in the Dr. Fager Stakes. Kathleen O'Connell blamed an unlucky start for Ivanavinalot going down as the 8-5 choice in the Desert Vixen Stakes.

On Saturday, both trainers are hoping their youngsters have better racing luck in the $125,000 Affirmed and Susan's Girl stakes, middle legs of Calder's Florida Stallion Stakes series.

Trust N Luck dueled through fractions of 21.60 and 44.60 seconds, drew clear in early stretch, but finally succumbed to Lawbook by three-quarters of a length in the six-furlong Dr. Fager. The setback was the first in three starts for Trust N Luck, who drew post 1 for the seven-furlong Affirmed.

In the Affirmed, Lawbook will be seeking his third straight victory for owner-trainer Thomas Heard Jr. Far and away the most experienced member in the field, Lawbook needed seven starts to win his maiden, then came right back to upset Trust N Luck, rallying from off the hot pace in the Dr. Fager.

Supah Blitz has been compromised by slow starts in both previous stakes tries, including the Dr. Fager, when he finished a late-striding third. He heads the opposition, which also includes Rufustheroadrunner, The Name's Bond, Nomadic Actor, Kissin Bold, and Indian Crusader.

Ivanavinalot ducked to the outside when the gates opened for the six-furlong Desert Vixen, was last after the opening eighth of a mile, then did well to finish fourth in her first defeat in three starts. Just as Trust N Luck drew the inside in his race, Ivanavinalot will leave from post 1 in the Susan's Girl, the filly counterpart to the Affirmed.

Ivanavinalot has since returned to work a sharp six furlongs from the gate in 1:14.60, and O'Connell is confident her filly will turn the tables on her recent conquerors in the Susan's Girl.

"I wouldn't change places with any of the horses who finished in front of my filly last time," said O'Connell.

Those three - Fortunate Card, Heavenly Miss, and Running Debate - will be back again for the Susan's Girl and will be joined in the starting gate by My Sky, Crafty Brat, Hummel, and Paintball.

Fortunate Card dueled from the outset with Heavenly Miss then outgamed her to post a well-deserved head victory in the Desert Vixen. She had finished second, beaten a nose, in her only previous start.

Running Debate was roughed at the break then rallied to finish third, five lengths behind Heavenly Miss, while equipped with blinkers for the first time in the Desert Vixen.

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