12/07/2007 12:00AM

Contessa sells two young prospects

EmailOZONE PARK, N.Y. - It didn't take long for Gary Contessa's phone to start ringing after Thursday's third race at Aqueduct.

Shortly after the 2-year-old Lovely Isle crossed the finish line 16 1/2 lengths ahead of the rest of the field in a starter allowance race, calls were coming from all over inquiring if the filly was for sale. Before noon Friday, Lovely Isle was sold to trainer Bobby Frankel. When the arrangements can be made, Lovely Isle will be flown to Southern California.

It was the second 2-year-old that Contessa and owners Steve Sigler, John Moirano, and Jennifer Contessa - Gary's wife - sold this week. On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Racing purchased National Pride, a debut winning 2-year-old. The purchase price was not disclosed in either instance.

"You know that being in this business in a big way it's a hard thing to do,'' said Contessa, referring to selling talented young horses. "When you get offers like the ones that were made on [National Pride] you got to sell. I can't disclose the price.''

Contessa bought National Pride for $50,000 at auction and paid only $20,000 for Lovely Isle, who debuted for a maiden claiming tag of $50,000 at Aqueduct on Oct. 31.

Lovely Isle, a daughter of Double Honor, was visually impressive Thursday cruising to victory while under a snug hold from Ramon Dominguez. She covered six furlongs in 1:09.65 and was given a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 101. Not only was it the fastest of seven six-furlong races run on Thursday's card, but it was nearly two seconds faster than Throbbin Heart's final time in winning the Xtra Heat Stakes for 2-year-old fillies in 1:11.47.

Frankel was contacted by an agent in New York to look at the race and shortly after he contacted a New York veterinarian to examine her. Frankel said the new owner will be Mike Bello, best known as the owner of Megahertz.

"She ran fast,'' Frankel said from California. "Go to a yearling sale and try to buy one. Here's one that ran already.''

Frankel has had success buying off Contessa in the past. In 2000, he purchased Peace Rules from Contessa and that horse went on to win multiple Grade 1 races and bank more than $3 million for Frankel and Ed Gann.

On Nov. 17, National Pride won a six-furlong maiden race at Aqueduct by 1 3/4 lengths, covering six furlongs in 1:09.27 and earning a 92 Beyer. National Pride is a 2-year-old son of Macho Uno, the juvenile champion of 2000. Friday, National Pride arrived at Payson Park in Florida, where Rick Mettee oversees a string of Godolphin runners.

"He sustained a 3 1/2-furlong run in the race,'' Mettee said. "It's not like he ran for the final eighth of a mile and the field fell apart. You don't see 2-year-olds do that too often.''

Mettee said National Pride would most likely begin a 30-day quarantine at Payson on Dec. 16 and ship to Dubai in mid-January.

Frisk Her by a whisker in Raise Heck

After chasing the rapid Your Flame in Me for most of the trip, Frisk Her ($13.80) collared that rival and passed her in deep stretch to win Friday's $77,500 Raise Heck by a nose. Your Flame in Me finished second by three lengths over Golden Dawn.

Frisk Her, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Officer, was making just her second start off a year layoff. In her previous start, she finished second to Your Flame in Me, beaten 4 1/2 lengths, in the Lady Tak Stakes run over the main track.

Friday, Frisk Her covered the six furlongs in 1:10.19.

The victory was the 150th of the year on the New York Racing Association circuit for Contessa, who last year led all trainers here with 151 wins. According to NYRA records, the most wins by a trainer on this circuit dating back to 1935 was Frank Martin's 156 in 1974.

Cedeno escapes injury in spill

Apprentice jockey Carol Cedeno remarkably was uninjured after being thrown heavily from her mount Renovate, 30 yards from the finish line in Friday's fifth race. Though she was taken by ambulance to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center complaining of pain in her left ribcage, Cedeno signed herself out before she ever received X-rays, according to her agent, Jose Morales.

Morales said Cedeno, 19, just had the wind knocked out of her.

"She's walking fine, she's talking fine, she'll ride tomorrow,'' Morales said late Friday afternoon.

It appeared that Renovate, a 51-1 shot, simply took a bad step while racing along the inside in deep stretch of the fifth race. After she lay on the ground for several minutes, Renovate jumped to her feet and was walked off the track. She was uninjured.

* Herb McCauley took off his mount, Typhoon Tycoon, in Friday's ninth race after bruising his left shin aboard his first race mount, Regal Officer. McCauley is not expected to miss any time.