06/27/2002 11:00PM

An explosive Fourth for Frankel


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Last August, trainer Bobby Frankel had successive weekends when his stable won major races on both coasts, seemingly dominating racing at Del Mar and Saratoga.

This year, he is hoping to start the same success on the Fourth of July weekend when he will have starters in major stakes at Belmont Park, Hollywood Park, Monmouth Park, and Prairie Meadows.

"Hopefully, we can do it all over again," Frankel said.

His Hollywood team is the deepest. Between Thursday and Saturday, there are six races worth $100,000 or more at Hollywood Park; Frankel will have starters in five.

In Thursday's $150,000 American Handicap on turf, Frankel will start Kappa King, a recent allowance race winner. He has five other nominees, but was uncertain Friday which ones he would run.

In Friday's $100,000 Flawlessly Stakes, Frankel starts Carinae, who was a fast-closing second in the Manhattan Beach Stakes on June 9. She faces High Society and Pina Colada in the one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

There are three stakes on Saturday's program at Hollywood. Frankel has the probable favorite in the $500,000 American Oaks in Megahertz, who is unbeaten in four starts in this country. A closer, she will face a large field of shippers from the United States and Europe as well as a strong group of locally based fillies in the first running of the American Oaks, run over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

"She could have some traffic problems," Frankel said. "You've got to get lucky."

For Saturday's $300,000 Triple Bend Invitational Handicap over seven furlongs, Frankel is considering Aldebaran, who is currently in New York, and Blu Air Force, a recent sprint winner on turf.

The Triple Bend will not include Swept Overboard, the winner of the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on May 27. Trainer Craig Dollase said Swept Overboard had a recent training setback, but declined to give details. "It's nothing real major," he said. "We'll have to map out a new plan."

Finally, the Frankel-trained Surya makes her stakes debut in Saturday's $100,000 Royal Heroine Stakes over a mile on turf for fillies and mares. She is in a field that will include Innit, Reine de Romance, and Skywriting.

The one race that will be without a Frankel starter is Thursday's $100,000 Landaluce Stakes for 2-year-old fillies over six furlongs. Magic Smoke, the winner of the Cinderella Stakes, will be in a field that includes Little Bit a Swiss, Solo Singer, and Tricks Her.

Nationwide, Frankel's team is very strong.

At Belmont Park, Frankel starts Lido Palace in Saturday's $500,000 Suburban Handicap. On the same day, Denon starts in the $500,000 United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park and Euchre attempts to defend his title in the $325,000 Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Prairie Meadows.

Startac joins Mott in New York

Startac, the winner of the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes last August who was sixth in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap on June 15, has been shipped to trainer Bill Mott in New York.

Previously trained by Laura de Seroux, Startac was second in the Jim Murray Memorial Handicap on May 19. The 4-year-old Startac is owned by Allen Paulson Living Trust.

"He'll have more opportunities back there, more long-distance races," de Seroux said. "I didn't think the Del Mar turf course would suit him."

Nakatani gets back on horses

Jockey Corey Nakatani resumed working horses at Hollywood on Friday, two months after suffering head and neck injuries in a one-horse spill. Since the May 2 accident, Nakatani has undergone therapy for his neck injury and suffered dizzy spells. He says they are no longer occurring.

Friday, Nakatani exercised horses for trainer Vladimir Cerin and Neil Drysdale. Afterward, he says he plans to ease back into the saddle, with no definite timetable for a return. He wants to be ready for the start of the Del Mar meeting on July 24.

"We may ride a couple here," he said, referring to the current meeting that ends on July 21. " I'd like to get on four, five, or six horses for a few days. The main thing is to get my legs back."

Van Rouge out of Cinema

Van Rouge, the winner of the Grade 3 Ascot Handicap at Bay Meadows on May 12 in his stakes debut, will miss Sunday's Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap due to a minor injury, trainer John Shirreffs said. The injury was discovered following a recent workout at Santa Anita.

"He didn't come out of his work that great," Shirreffs said. "I think he bruised his foot." Shirreffs said Van Rouge will be pointed for the Del Mar meeting.