09/08/2006 11:00PM

Cacique rockets home for Man o' War victory

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Cacique wins the Man o' War on Saturday, running the final eighth of a mile in 10.95 seconds.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Before Saturday's Grade 1 , trainer Bobby Frankel was extremely resistant to point Cacique to the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf, because he was skeptical of the colt's ability to go 1 1/2 miles.

But after watching Cacique display an awesome closing kick to win the $500,000 Man o' War by 1 3/4 lengths at Belmont Park, Frankel is now strongly considering a run at the BC Turf.

After racing covered up for more than a mile of the 1 3/8-mile Man o' War, Cacique shot through an opening between Ramazutti and Showing Up in upper stretch and then ran a final furlong of 10.95 seconds to win convincingly before an announced crowd of 10,265 at Belmont. Go Deputy caught Showing Up in the final jump to get second by a nose.

"I'm thinking [Breeders' Cup]. The way he finished, how can you finish any faster?" Frankel said.

It was 2 1/2 lengths back to Cosmonaut, who was followed in the order of finish by Relaxed Gesture, Crown Point, and Ramazutti.

It was the second Grade 1 victory of the year for Cacique, who in June took the Manhattan over this course. In between, he finished second in the United Nations and Arlington Million.

Ramazutti set fractions of 24.10 seconds, 49.84 and 1:15.62 with Showing Up, under Cornelio Velasquez, content to sit second. Edgar Prado, meanwhile, had Cacique in fifth position while racing between rivals.

Showing Up took a short lead at the top of the stretch, and Velasquez looked extremely confident turning for home. But Cacique shot past him in upper stretch and though Showing Up attempted to fight back, Cacique drew clear. Cacique, a son of Danehill out of the multiple Grade 1 stakes producing mare Hasili, was timed over good turf in 2:15.68. He returned $5.40 as the favorite.

"Out of all the races I've been riding him, that was his best kick today," Prado said. "If the race is run like that, I can cover up and just press the pedal at the right time. I think he can go the distance of a mile and a half."

Added Frankel, "The way he trains in the morning, he never impresses you, so it's hard to get high on him, but in the afternoon you put him on the grass he accelerates. . . . This might have been his best race yet."