08/07/2008 12:00AM

Two rise above rest in First Episode


It's not a match race, but it might as well, be as the best female Massachusetts-breds of the last five years - Ask Queenie and Flirt for Fame - square off in the four-horse field of the $50,000 First Episode Stakes at Suffolk Downs. The race is at a mile and 70 yards.

Ask Queenie, the four-time champion New England-bred, is looking to snap a six-race losing streak and secure her first win this year. She's been in the money in every start this year except her last, when she finished sixth in an open allowance race.

Flirt for Fame took advantage of Ask Queenie skipping the Last Dance Stakes on July 19 to win her second straight Massachusetts-bred race and get her third win from four starts this year. Owned by John D. Murphy and trained by Mike Gorham, the 5-year-old Flirt for Fame is starting to level the score with her main rival, who is 7. Flirt for Fame beat Ask Queenie and six others in the Isadorable Stakes July 5.

Trainer Lori Lockhart says Ask Queenie, the top all-time earning Massachusetts-bred, is still as strong as she has been throughout her career, even though offers are coming in to make her a broodmare.

"It's a tough call," said Lockhart, whose daughter Laurine Barreira owns Ask Queenie. "She's still doing good, but rooting for her babies could be something to look forward to."

Don't Tell Ted, an 0-for-9 maiden, will break from the rail. Southoftheborder, owned and trained by Lori Lockhart's father, Lloyd, is in post 4.