10/24/2004 11:00PM

Cajun Beat, Midas Eyes work together


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - It could have been a Grade 1 race.

Trainer Bobby Frankel worked Cajun Beat and Midas Eyes in company on Sunday at Belmont in preparation for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint. The horses give the trainer an enviable hand in the six-furlong race, which Cajun Beat won last year at 22-1 for previous trainer Steve Margolis and Frankel won in 2001 with Squirtle Squirt.

A field of 13 is expected to enter the Sprint on Wednesday.

Cornelio Velasquez worked Cajun Beat inside of Midas Eyes and Edgar Prado. They finished on about even terms, with Daily Racing Form clocker Mike Welsch catching the pair in 48.97 seconds.

"I wanted them to go a little quicker; [the riders] were scared, I guess," said Frankel. "If I say go in 47 and they go in 49, who knows what's the right thing? We are just guessing what's the right thing to do."

Cajun Beat worked in blinkers, which he races in but did not wear for an Oct. 17 work in which he went five furlongs in 1:01.20. He worked alone that day, and Frankel has said the horse goes better in company. Frankel said he did not remember a previous time when he worked both horses together.

Cajun Beat will be making his second start back from a layoff in the Sprint. He shipped to Dubai in March and finished fourth, beaten four lengths by Our New Recruit, in the Golden Shaheen. He was given time off after the overseas trip and returned to action Oct. 2, when he finished fourth in the Grade 1 Vosburgh.

He pushed the pace that day over a track some have said was dull, and was beaten 4 1/2 lengths by the victorious Pico Central.

"It got him fit enough," said Frankel. "Hopefully he steps up a little bit. He ran well enough. I think he's going to run a good race."

Midas Eyes has put together two big races heading into the Sprint. He won a 6 1/2-furlong allowance in August following a more than six-month layoff, then wheeled back in 10 days and beat a deep field in the Grade 1 Forego Handicap at Saratoga on Sept. 4.

He will be shortening up a furlong in distance and should be a little farther off the pace than he was last time, said Frankel.

In other developments, Cuvee worked at Churchill Downs on Monday, going a half-mile in 47.80 seconds. Bay Marvel, who was on the also-eligible list for the Sprint, ran instead on Sunday and was fourth in an allowance at Lone Star. Abbondanza flew in to Texas on Sunday.

The expected field with riders is Abbondanza, Eibar Coa; Bwana Charlie, no rider; Cajun Beat, Velasquez; Champali, Rafael Bejarano; Clock Stopper, Pat Day; Cuvee, no rider; Gold Storm, Larry Taylor; Kela, Jerry Bailey; Midas Eyes, Prado; My Cousin Matt, Ramon Dominguez; Our New Recruit, Tyler Baze; Pt's Grey Eagle, Corey Nakatani; and Speightstown, John Velazquez.

- additional reporting by David Grening