04/12/2002 12:00AM

Aldebaran the one - if he runs


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Whether he is in California, New York, or here in Kentucky, Bobby Frankel is the one to beat in stakes races. But to win it, you've got to be in it, and Frankel might provide a random act of kindness to others entered in the $250,000 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes on Sunday at Keeneland.

Frankel trainee Aldebaran, an impressive winner at Santa Anita last time out on March 24, would be the likely favorite in the Commonwealth, a seven-furlong, Grade 2 race. But after watching the Keeneland main track's bias toward speed and inside posts on Thursday's card, Frankel on Friday morning said he might scratch Aldebaran from the Commonwealth.

"I might not run here. It's so speedy," said Frankel, who won two races here on Thursday - both on the turf. "Watching the races here yesterday, you've got to get on the rail and have speed. It's like a conveyer belt."

Aldebaran rallies from behind, and landed post 6 in a field of seven. If Aldebaran is scratched, Frankel said he would await seven-furlong Churchill Downs Handicap on Kentucky Derby Day May 4, and use that race as a prep for the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on May 27.

"I want to win the Met Mile," Frankel said.

Another California invader, D'wildcat, would benefit if Aldebaran is scratched. D'wildcat, who won the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park one year ago, on March 2, returned from a one-year layoff and finished second to Crafty C.T. in a Santa Anita allowance race. Corey Nakatani, who is 2 for 3 on D'wildcat, has the mount for trainer Bob Hess Jr.

The pace should be hot. In addition to D'wildcat, both Orientate and Dancing Missile have sharp early speed. Orientate is turning back to a sprint after running in two-turn races at Santa Anita. He is in post 2, and likely will try to secure a spot on the rail. He carries high weight of 120 pounds.

D ancing Missile scored consecutive front-running victories this winter at Turfway Park and Gulfstream Park before fading to finish fourth in the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap on March 9. The horse who won that race, Dream Run, was entered in the Carter Handicap on Saturday at Aqueduct.

Binthebest was a late-running second in the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap. He usually requires a fast pace to set up his late charge, and he owns a victory at this track. Red's Honor ran poorly at Gulfstream this winter, but is capable of better. Twilight Road disappointed when blinkers were added last time. They are being removed for this race. He lost narrowly in the Deputy Minister Handicap at Gulfstream in his race before last.

for entries.

Subscribers: to purchase Past Performances.

Non-subscribers: Click here to purchase Past Performances.