06/22/2006 11:00PM

Beverly Hills Handicap preview


Bobby Frankel must always be respected in major stakes races, and he'll send out two runners in the Grade 2 Beverly Hills Handicap on Saturday at Hollywood Park. Dream Lady has yet to race at the 10-furlong distance of the Beverly Hills, but she acts like the added ground won't be a problem, and she has a stout pedigree. Dream Lady chased a sharp gate-to-wire winner last time out in the Wishing Well Stakes at Hollywood Park, and galloped out strongly past the wire. She has excellent tactical speed, and may sit a good trip stalking likely pacesetters Live Life and Sohgol. Dream Lady may get first run on the final turn, and her Beyer Speed Figures are very competitive with those of her opponents.

Live Life makes the important third start of the form cycle for master horseman Neil Drysdale. The French-bred daughter of Linamix defeated four rivals in gate-to-wire fashion in her most recent race. The Beverly Hills will be her North American stakes debut, but she was Group 3-placed in her native land last season. Live Life should be prominent from the opening bell under Pat Valenzuela, and she is very effective at this distance. She must be respected if allowed to set a leisurely pace.

Drysdale will also send out German-bred Dalicia. She split decisions with her uncoupled entry mate in her last two starts, and may be ready for a big move forward after pairing up Beyer tops in those races. She has good tactical speed, and should contend from stalking range.

Classy Moscow Burning may be the favorite in the Beverly Hills, but she was the beaten chalk in her last two races, and she bled when third in the Frans Valentine on April 30. Moscow Burning draws the advantageous inside post position, and should sit a good pace-tracking, ground-saving trip under David Flores. She has run the fastest races of those entered on Saturday, but one has to wonder if she is worth a short price carrying top weight off the layoff.

Frankel also sends out Eternal Melody. The runner-up in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap two starts back, Eternal Melody raced wide in the Grade 1 Gamely last time out, and should be running late under Alex Solis. Eternal Melody will attempt to repeat the third off the layoff pattern that resulted in both of her stateside victories.

1. Dream Lady
2. Live Life
3. Dalicia