10/05/2005 11:00PM

Alinghi takes on the boys in Shadwell

Email
Horsephotos
Three Valleys is part of Bobby Frankel's one-two punch for the Shadwell.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Back home, mate, they do it all the time. Fillies run against colts, and if they're as good as Alinghi, they win more often than not.

Now comes the first time that , the superstar filly from Australia, will run against males in the United States. Saturday's $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, the richest race of the Keeneland fall meet, follows a terrific Northern Hemisphere debut in which "The Wonder From Down Under" won the Aug. 29 Ballston Spa at Saratoga.

Under different circumstances, the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile might have served as a prep for the Breeders' Cup for Alinghi. But the partnership that owns the Aussie-bred 4-year-old would have to pay a 20 percent supplementary fee to make her eligible, so her new trainer, Bobby Frankel, said they most likely will take a pass.

That leaves the Shadwell Mile and the Matriarch at Hollywood as the two immediate goals for Alinghi. Frankel could have kept Alinghi with her own gender by running her Sunday in the $400,000 WinStar Galaxy at Keeneland, but "I'm trying to win two races," said Frankel, who has Intercontinental to run in the one-mile Galaxy.

Funny, but the Frankel stable is so jam-packed with turf stars that the Hall of Fame trainer is running against himself anyway in the Shadwell. Three Valleys, winner of the Del Mar Breeders' Cup in his last start, figures as one of the main challengers to Alinghi. And with a good effort Saturday, would earn a berth to run in the Breeders' Cup Mile against yet another Frankel monster, Leroidesanimaux, who figures as one of the heaviest favorites in the Oct. 29 series at Belmont Park.

But first the Shadwell. Alinghi came to the U.S. with a gaudy reputation, having been named a divisional champion after winning 10 of 16 races in Australia, where racing is hugely popular. Interest in Alinghi has remained so high that Frankel was the guest on several Australian radio shows in the days leading up to the Ballston Spa.

Alinghi, racing on the bleeder medication Lasix for the first time, lagged some 13 lengths behind under Edgar Prado before asserting her superiority in a 1 1/4-length score in a field of 11. Prado, whose record at Keeneland in recent years has been phenomenal, compared Alinghi to some of the best grass horses he has ever ridden.

Frankel called Alinghi "a good filly," adding he was impressed with "just how professional she was."

"Prado asked her, and she took off," he said.

John Messara, one of three Australians who own Alinghi, has said the long-range plan for Alinghi is to continue racing her in the U.S. in the spring before having her sent home to be bred to the red-hot Australian sire Redoute's Choice.

Alinghi drew post 2 in a field of 10 entered in the Shadwell Mile, which is part of the NTRA National Pick 4 (guaranteed pool, $400,000) and will be telecast live on NBC Sports (4:30-6 p.m. Eastern). Besides the Frankel duo of Alinghi and Three Valleys, other top contenders include Ad Valorem, Cool Conductor, Durban Thunder, and Host.

, the only 3-year-old in the field, might pose a particularly dangerous threat under Kieren Fallon. Trained by the European kingpin Aidan O'Brien, Ad Valorem is a Danzig colt who won the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes last October at Newmarket. Although he is winless in three starts this year, all were respectable tries in Group 1 company, and when he runs Saturday, he will be treated with Lasix for the first time.

The rest of the Shadwell field is Seeking Answers, Gulch Approval, Remind, and Vanderlin.

The field

Shadwell Turf Mile
Purse: $600,000; 1 mile, turf; Grade 1

PPHORSEJOCKEYWT.ODDS
1Seeking AnswersJ. Lezcano12620-1
2AlinghiE. Prado1239-2
3Ad ValoremK. Fallon1235-1
4Gulch ApprovalN. Arroyo Jr.12615-1
5Three ValleysP. Valenzuela1265-2
6Cool ConductorC. Velasquez12612-1
7Durban ThunderM. Guidry12615-1
8HostR. Bejarano1264-1
9RemindB. Blanc1266-1
10VanderlinR. Hughes12620-1

* Odds by Kristin Sadler
* Television: Saturday, 4:30-6 p.m. (Eastern), NBC