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HORSE RACING

Frankel Makes Run for Money

October 06, 2000|BILL CHRISTINE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

According to the Daily Racing Form, Bob Baffert leads the national trainer standings by about $400,000 in purses over Bobby Frankel. But Equibase, another keeper of thoroughbred racing's records, lists Frankel with $8.7 million in purses, more than $200,000 ahead of Baffert.

What gives?

"I guess one of them [Equibase] is counting the Dubai money," Frankel said. "Either way, we're having a very good year. I just wish they'd get together on it. At the end of the year [Eclipse awards] voters look at those numbers, and a lot of time the guy on top is the guy who gets the vote."

There's no better a case in point than Frankel, who won his only personal Eclipse award in 1993, the year his barn totaled $8.8 million in purses and dislodged Wayne Lukas after 10 consecutive years as the national money leader. Baffert, leading the money list in 1998 and 1999, has won the last three Eclipse awards for training.

Baffert and Frankel will face off Saturday at Santa Anita, in the $500,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes, and Baffert will saddle the favorite, Flame Thrower, in the $200,000 Norfolk earlier on the same card, but nationally Frankel has many more bases covered. In all, he's running seven horses at three tracks--Santa Anita, Belmont Park and Keeneland--in five stakes worth $2.6 million.

By the time Frankel's Spanish Fern and Baffert's Caffe Latte do battle with four others in the Yellow Ribbon, Frankel will have run:

* Northern Quest and Timboroa in the $750,000 Turf Classic at Belmont.

* Happyanunoit and Hello Soso in the $750,000 Flower Bowl, also at Belmont.

* Super Quercus in the $400,000 Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile.

* Mojave Moon in the $200,000 Fayette Breeders' Cup Stakes, also at Keeneland.

Frankel could have even thrown another $400,000 race--Saturday night's Meadowlands Cup--into the hopper, but he chose not to run Skimming, unhappy that his colt had been assigned high weight of 122 pounds for the New Jersey stake.

Spanish Fern and Caffe Latte, then trained by Julio Canani, ran 1-2 in last year's Yellow Ribbon, but this year's form makes Saturday's favorites Caffe Latte, winner of the Ramona Handicap at Del Mar in her last start, and Canani's Tranquility Lake, whose illness from a possible spider bite knocked her out of the Ramona. Tranquility Lake missed almost two weeks of training, and Canani is concerned about Saturday's 1 1/4-mile distance. Tranquility Lake led last year's Yellow Ribbon after six furlongs before finishing last. An upset by Spanish Fern would make the 5-year-old mare the first repeat winner of the stake.

This is the Yellow Ribbon field, in post-position order, with jockeys: Caffe Latte, Brice Blanc; Mynah, Gary Stevens; Polaire, Yukata Take; Spanish Fern, Victor Espinoza; Tranquility Lake, Eddie Delahoussaye; and Alexine, David Flores.

The Norfolk, the major California prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, drew eight juveniles, including Flame Thrower and Street Cry, who slugged it out in the stretch in the Del Mar Futurity. Flame Thrower won by a head, but his jockey, the New York-based Jerry Bailey, is committed in both of those $750,000 races at Belmont. So the mount on Flame Thrower has gone to Espinoza. This is the way they'll line up at the start:

Flame Thrower; Revelling, Isaias Enriquez; Mr Freckles, Gary Stevens; Learing At Kathy, Garrett Gomez; Dubai Breeze, Eddie Delahoussaye; Street Cry, David Flores; Sudden Glory, Brice Blanc; and Mo Mon, Iggy Puglisi.

Note

John and Betty Mabee have sold Excellent Meeting to Elizabeth Moran, who will add the filly to her broodmare band at Brushwood Stables in Pennsylvania. The price is believed to be in the seven-figure range. Excellent Meeting, who won eight of 20 starts and earned $1.4 million, was a brilliant 2-year-old who lost by half a length to another Bob Baffert trainee, Silverbulletday, in the 1998 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Excellent Meeting, fifth in last year's Kentucky Derby, was pulled up in the Preakness. After that she won one of six starts.

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