05/26/2007 12:00AM

Citronnade to try wire act


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Come and catch her.

Citronnade will be favored in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes on Monday at Hollywood Park, and barring the unforeseen, the 4-year-old filly should be long gone in the 1 1/8-mile turf race.

"She'll be in front," trainer Bobby Frankel stated.

It is not a revelation. Citronnade is the only front-runner among the six fillies and mares in the $300,000 Gamely. While it seems Citronnade is being handed the race on a silver platter, Frankel cautions otherwise.

"The other filly I'm running is a very good filly," Frankel said, referring to Grade 1 Matriarch winner Price Tag, who has never raced beyond a mile.

Frankel was asked whether nine furlongs might be too far for Price Tag.

"No problem," he said. Why? "Because she relaxes so well. She doesn't take hold, and she has a great turn of foot."

Citronnade, Price Tag, and undefeated Grade 1 winner Vacare are the principals in the Gamely, which is race 9 on a card that includes the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile (race 7). Citronnade has won 6 of 9 for owner Frank Stronach, including wire-to-wire Grade 2 wins at Santa Anita in her last two starts.

The Gamely will be the first start in two months for Citronnade, who runs well fresh.

"She's a very willing work horse," Frankel said.

David Flores rides Citronnade, who has been targeted for the Gamely for months. Is it too early to envision a championship fall campaign?

"I'm more worried about the race Monday, to win a Grade 1 and make her more valuable," Frankel said.

Price Tag scratched from a May 5 stakes race at Churchill Downs when the turf course came up yielding. Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Price Tag has won 4 of 11, including both starts for Frankel since arriving from Europe. Alex Solis will ride.

Vacare won the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup last fall at Keeneland, and subsequently was sold at auction to Jon and Sarah Kelly for $2.8 million. The filly, 5 for 5, won her comeback April 1 at Gulfstream Park and has enough speed to be positioned within striking range of Citronnade. Christophe Clemente trains Vacare, and Jose Valdivia will ride.

Charm the Giant won her first graded stakes race April 25 at Hollywood, winning the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap. She has won 6 of 13. Three Degrees won the Grade 2 Honeymoon for 3-year-old fillies last June, but she has since lost nine straight. Sohgol, 3 for 17, finished second in the Wilshire last out.