10/05/2001 11:00PM

Aptitude, Frankel romp in Gold Cup


ELMONT, N.Y. - Bobby Frankel's dream year continued at Belmont Park on Saturday when Aptitude, the second-favorite in the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup, scored an impressive 10-length win over a field of seven.

The win was the second in a row for Aptitude, and the 13th Grade 1 win of 2001 for Frankel. The Hall Of Fame trainer has yet to win a Breeders' Cup race with 36 starters, but is in line to saddle serious contenders in seven of this year's eight Breeders' Cup events scheduled for Oct. 27 at Belmont Park.

Aptitude, who was coming off a 4 1/4-length win in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup in his last start, sat fifth in the early running of the Gold Cup behind a fast :46.41 half-mile pace set by 23-1 longshot Generous Rosi. Aptitude then rallied wide to take charge turning for home before drawing off through the stretch for the easy victory under jockey Jerry Bailey.

The win raised Bailey's seasonal earnings to $19,841,901, enough to break his own single-season earnings total of $19,465,376 set in 1996.

Aptitude got the 1 1/4-mile distance in a time of 2:01.49 and paid $4.80 to win. Generous Rosi held on for second keying a $69.00 exacta. It was another three-quarters of a length back to Country Be Gold (82-1). Favorite Albert The Great finished nine lengths behind Country Be Gold in fourth.

Attendance for the 11-race card was 13,653.

Officer rolls in Champagne

Officer, Bob Baffert's undefeated 2-year-old, kept his perfect record intact with an impressive 3 3/4-length win in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne Stakes on the Gold Cup undercard.

Officer, the 1-5 favorite in the field of five, was never touched by jockey Victor Espinoza in a hand-ride all the way to the wire.

Officer got the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:43.39 and paid $2.60 to win. Of the $859,960 wagered to show in the race, $816,063 was bet on Officer creating a minus-pool of $145,794.

Jump Start, Heavyweight Champ, Saarland, and Thunder Days completed the order of finish.

You gives Frankel two Grade 1's

In other undercard action, You was the clear winner of the Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette for 2-year-old fillies. You was the second-favorite in the field of five behind Cashier's Dream, who settled for second.

You went the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.94 and paid $4.80 to win with jockey Edgar Prado aboard for trainer Bobby Frankel.

Frankel just missed a third Grade 1 win on the card in the Beldame when favored Flute finished second at odds of 4-5. Exogenous rallied past Flute and Spain in deep stretch, and then survived an inquiry to win the Grade 1, $750,000 for trainer Scotty Schulhofer and jockey Javier Castellano. Exogenous got the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.20 and paid $9.20.

The day's stake action was completed by the Grade 2, $250,000 Kelso at a mile on the turf. The winner was Forbidden Apple, who clocked in at 1:36.77 over a course labeled "yielding." Forbidden Apple was ridden by Corey Nakatani and trained by Christophe Clement. He paid $6.00 to win.