06/29/2007 12:00AM

Beverly Hills hinges on Citronnade

Alex Evers/Horsephotos
Citronnade is not only the best horse in the Grade 2 Beverly Hills, she's also the lone speed.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Citronnade has yet to make waves outside California, but her entry in the Gradeo2 Beverly Hills Handicap on Sunday at Hollywood Park caused a distinct cross-country ripple.

Citronnade was not expected to run in the Beverly Hills, but trainer Bobby Frankel announced early this week that she would enter the 1 1/4-mile turf race. When he found out Citronnade was running, trainer Christophe Clement scrapped shipping plans for New York-based Meribel. And racing secretary Martin Panza moved the Beverly Hills to race 3, before the pick six.

Citronnade would have been a single.

"She is 1-5, why make it a pick five?" Panza said.

Why, indeed. The question now is whether Citronnade actually will start. Frankel also entered 4-for-11 Naughty Rafaela, a Grade 2 winner whose resume pales compared to the 7-for-10 record of Citronnade, whose four straight wins include the Grade 1 Gamely.

Frankel was asked Friday if both fillies would run, and he replied, "I entered them both." He was asked if he expected either to scratch, and he replied, "Not right now."

Four others entered the $150,000 Beverly Hills, but Memorette is expected to scratch. That leaves recent allowance winners Nakaba and Andrea, and Golden Gate stakes winner Mabadi. Sandy Shulman trains Mabadi, who was purchased last fall in England for the U.S. equivalent of approximately $40,000. She has earned $126,050 this year.

"She's done more than her job," Shulman said. "But now we're running against probably the best mare in the country."

Mabadi won a $75,000 stakes last out at 1 3/8 miles and previously ran second to Naughty Rafaela in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara, which was shortened from 10 furlongs to nine because of track conditions.

Nakaba was fortunate to win a third-level allowance last out at 1 1/16 miles when runner-up Dancing General propped and lost her action.

As for Citronnade, she enters as the lone front-runner.

"I didn't train her exactly how I wanted to," Frankel said, "but there's no speed. I don't think she's going to be short."

Citronnade enters as the 122-pound topweight in the Beverly Hills, a prep race for the Beverly D. at Arlington on Aug. 11. Naughty Rafaela will be racing in second position, and would inherit pacesetting chores if the favorite misfires.