10/05/2005 11:00PM

Adieu looms large in Frizette

Adieu wins the Spinaway at Saratoga, which has proven to be a key race.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Even though she was just standing in her stall munching on hay at the time, Adieu had to be considered a winner when Folklore romped to a 14-length victory in the Grade 1 Matron at Belmont Park on Sept. 17.

Three weeks earlier, Adieu had defeated Folklore in the Grade 2 Spinaway at Saratoga, the second time this year Adieu has beaten Folklore in a stakes. With Folklore awaiting the Breeders' Cup Juveniles on Oct. 29, Adieu looms a strong favorite against eight rivals in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette at Belmont.

The Frizette, run at one mile, is one of thee graded stakes on Saturday's nine-race card and will be shown live on NBC Sports during a 90-minute broadcast beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

, trained by Todd Pletcher, has won 3 of 4 starts. Her lone loss came to Folklore in the Grade 2 Adirondack on opening day at Saratoga. That day, the main track had been sealed for a 90-minute period then lightly harrowed before the Adirondack. Pletcher said that as a result the track was extremely dry. With rain in the forecast Saturday, Adieu may have to handle a wet track.

"I think she'll handle it okay," Pletcher said. "She didn't like the track [for the Spinaway] at Saratoga, but it was not wet. They back-raked the track and it was dry underneath; she labored with that."

Adieu benefited from an outside post in the Spinaway. Saturday, Adieu will break from the rail.

The Spinaway has proven to be a key race. Not only did Folklore come back to win the Matron, but also Sensation, who finished fourth in the Spinaway, came back to win the Grade 3 Astarita.

"We feel like we've been there with Folklore all along," Pletcher said. "Hopefully, our filly can move forward. She's training well, looks good, and has had plenty of time between races."

The Frizette features unbeaten horses from several jurisdictions, including Keeneland Kat and Heckuva Rush from New Jersey, Mykindasaint from Louisiana, and Catch My Fancy from Southern California.

is 2 for 2, including a strong off-the-pace victory in the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park. Trainer Kelly Breen said Keeneland Kat would benefit from a hot pace and a wet track. Keeneland Kat will break from post 9.

"There's a lot of speed in the race," Breen said. "If there is a race that distance should help us and hurt everybody else, this is it."

Breen noted that his filly worked a sharp three furlongs behind two stablemates in the mud prior to her first start at Monmouth Park. "She's well schooled in the mud," he said.

Breen trained Heckuva Rush for her first start, a 10 1/4-length maiden win against new Jersey-breds at Monmouth. Breen and his owners have sold Heckuva Rush to Paul Reddam, who has turned the filly over to Doug O'Neill.

"Not taking anything away from her," Breen said, "I don't know if she can get the distance."

is another who will be tested for distance. Racing in the Southwest for trainer Bubba Cascio, Mykindasaint won sprint stakes at Lone Star, Calder, and Louisiana Downs. With Cascio too sick to travel, he has turned Mykindasaint over to D. Wayne Lukas, who believes it's worth trying to stretch the filly out in distance.

The field

Frizette Stakes
Purse: $500,000; 1 mile; Grade 1

1AdieuJ. Velazquez7-5
2Miss NormanM. Luzzi12-1
3MykindasaintJ. Bailey6-1
4Better NowG. Stevens20-1
5Philanthropy LadyE. Coa20-1
6Heckuva RushP. Fragoso8-1
7Catch My FancyJ. Santos7-2
8Along the SeaJ. Castellano12-1
9Keeneland KatJ. Bravo6-1

* All starters carry 120 pounds
* Odds by DRF
* Television: Saturday, 4:30-6 p.m. (Eastern), NBC