09/04/2003 11:00PM

Dimitrova another star for Weld


PHOENIX - Bobby Frankel is no dummy. In deciding whether to send his 3-year-old filly Spoken Fur 1 1/8 miles on dirt against Grade 1 winners Island Fashion and Lady Tak in the Gazelle Saturday or 1 1/8 miles on turf in the Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup Sunday, Frankel said, "I'd rather run against those two than that filly that Dermot Weld's bringing."

"That filly" is Dimitrova, who runs at Belmont in the Garden City and could be on the verge of stardom.

The Irish-based Dimitrova has already raced in the United States, making quite a splash when she won the July 5 American Oaks at Hollywood Park against some of the country's best 3-year-old turf fillies.

Weld shipped her back to Ireland and kicked around the idea of coming back to the U.S. to face older fillies and mares in the Grade 1 Beverly D. at Arlington Aug. 16. Weld instead decided to give her more time and keep her in her own division.

But, that doesn't mean Weld doesn't have confidence in Dimitrova. He has said a good effort in the Garden City would lead to the Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Belmont Sept. 27, and then the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.

Weld is no stranger to shipping success. He shipped Media Puzzle to Australia and won the Melbourne Cup. He shipped Evolving Tactics to Arlington in July and won the American Derby. Last fall, he thought enough of 3-year-old filly Dress to Thrill to bring her to Chicago for the BC Mile. She finished eighth but a few weeks later won the Grade 1 Matriarch at Hollywood Park. His most famous move may have been when he shipped Go and Go to New York and won the Belmont in 1990. The guy knows what he's doing when he puts a horse on a plane.

Of course, the filly-mare turf division is terrific, with Heat Haze, Voodoo Dancer, Tates Creek, Megahertz, Riskaverse, and Dublino among those who could run in the Filly and Mare Turf. But as good as they are, Dimitrova may turn out to be even better.

Remember Peace Rules, the turf horse?

Speaking of Frankel, pointing Peace Rules to the Breeders' Cup Mile seems the right choice.

Frankel has Empire Maker and Medaglia d'Oro for the Classic, and Peace Rules - though he lays it on the line every time he runs - isn't at his best going 10 furlongs.

Before the world knew about Peace Rules, he was a turf horse. In fall of his 2-year-old year, he won the Grade 3 Generous at Hollywood and the Hill Rise at Santa Anita and finished second in the Pinjara at Santa Anita.

With the World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita this year, Peace Rules should feel right at home.

Peace Rules has shown himself to be something of a push-button horse. He doesn't have to have the lead, and he can press a fast pace and keep going. That kind of positional speed comes in handy on the tight-turned Santa Anita turf course in what figures to be a full field.

And, a win in the Mile could even make him champion 3-year-old. What if Funny Cide doesn't race again this year and Empire Maker and Ten Most Wanted fail to beat their elders? Would the voters then ignore the horse who won the Louisiana Derby, Blue Grass, and Haskell, ran second in the Travers, third in the Kentucky Derby, and won the BC Mile?