10/03/2001 11:00PM

Countdown to the Cup: Juvenile Fillies (10/4)


In the natural course of events, 2-year-olds are improving at this time of the year.

When it comes to You, trainer Bobby Frankel just doesn't see how that is possible. In her last start, You won the Grade 2 Adirondack, catching Cashier's Dream in the final jump to win by a neck. She covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.16 - a stakes record for the distance - and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 107.

"By all rights she should move up, but honestly, I don't see how she can," said Frankel, who also trained You's sire, You and I, a Belmont track-record holder at seven furlongs. "How is she going to improve off of that race? I just hope she runs as well."

You makes her first start since the Adirondack when she meets Cashier's Dream in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette at Belmont, one of three important preps this weekend for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 27. On Friday, 11 fillies will go in the Walmac International Alcibiades at Keeneland. On Monday, Belmont hosts the Astarita, a 6 1/2-furlong race that could have Cup implications.

Frankel had not intended to run You in the Frizette, but altered plans when the terrorist attacks on New York City forced the cancellation of a week's worth of racing at Belmont, including the Grade 1 Matron on Sept. 15. That means You will have had 54 days since the Adirondack, but will have only three weeks before the Breeders' Cup.

Coincidentally, You had 54 days between her previous race - a loss to Cashier's Dream in the mud - and the Adirondack. Frankel, who purchased You privately for Edmund Gann after that allowance race worked You only four times before the Adirondack. She has had six works leading up to the Frizette. "She's trained perfectly," Frankel said.

Eighteen days following the Adirondack, Cashier's Dream came back to win the Grade 1 Spinaway by six lengths She is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup and would have to be supplemented for a fee of $90,000, something her connections are leery of doing.

Cashier's Dream has trained magnificently at Belmont Park, including a seven-furlong move in 1:25.52 on Sept. 24 that still has her connections buzzing.

"It was awesome," said assistant trainer Scott Blasi. "For a 2-year-old to work seven-eighths like that and get the last eighth in 12 [seconds] and go out like she did, I'm very encouraged she will get the mile and a sixteenth."

Riskaverse, Cherokee Girl, and Treasure Coast Gem are the only others expected to run.

Looking to avoid facing You and Cashier's Dream again, trainer Todd Pletcher shipped Spinaway runner-up Smok'n Frolic to Keeneland for Friday's Alcibiades. Smok'n Frolic displaced her palate in the Adirondack, and Pletcher equipped her with a tongue depressor and a figure-eight bridle.

Smok'n Frolic, who won the Fashion Stakes in June, will take on a full field, including Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Playing 'n Gold, who is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup and would have to supplement for $90,000. Trainer Bob Holthus said Playing 'n Gold "would have to be first or second" in order to be supplemented.

Trainer Bob Baffert said he is optimistic that Habibti, who scratched out of Sunday's Oak Leaf because of a virus, could still make the Breeders' Cup. Tali'sluckybusride, who won the Oak Leaf, will not be supplemented to the race, her connections said.

Godolphin Racing's Imperial Gesture, the second-place finisher in the Oak Leaf, is still on course for the Breeders' Cup. Tempera, Godolphin's top prospect, continues to train forwardly for the Cup.

In Monday's Astarita, Bella Bellucci, an impressive debut winner, tries to earn her spot in the Breeders' Cup. She'll face the undefeated stakes-winning Forest Heiress, who is not being pointed to the Juvenile Fillies.