Updated on 09/17/2011 10:59AM

Frankel: 124? No, thanks

Medaglia d'Oro will be pointed for the March 29 Dubai World Cup.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - In a decision that will make jockey Jerry Bailey happy but likely disappoint race fans hoping to see a matchup of California's two best older horses, trainer Bobby Frankel on Tuesday said he would not run Medaglia d'Oro in Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Handicap, citing what he believes is an illogical weight assignment.

Medaglia d'Oro, who comes off a seven-length victory in the Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds, was assigned 124 pounds, the same as the 5-year-old Congaree, who beat older horses in the San Pasqual and San Antonio handicaps earlier this meet.

"They're starting him off too high for this early in the year. Where do you go from there if he wins?" Frankel said as he took shelter from the morning rain at his Hollywood Park barn. "How could they give him 124? He's only run once against older horses, and that was in a weight-for-age race. He's never been in a handicap before."

Medaglia d'Oro's lone previous stakes race against older horses was in last fall's Breeders' Cup Classic, in which he finished second by 6 1/2 lengths to Volponi. Under the weight-for-age conditions of that race, Medaglia d'Oro, then age 3, carried 121 pounds, compared with 126 for horses age 4 and older.

Frankel took great issue with the weight switch between Medaglia d'Oro and barnmate Milwaukee Brew. In the Breeders' Cup Classic, Medaglia d'Oro received five pounds from Milwaukee Brew, and finished a neck in front of him. Each has run once since - Milwaukee Brew was second to Congaree in the San Antonio - but Medaglia d'Oro was assigned five more pounds for the Big Cap than Milwaukee Brew, a 10-pound shift from the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"After Tiznow won the Breeders' Cup Classic for the first time, he carried 122 in the next year's Big Cap, and my horse gets 124?" Frankel said. "And another thing - my horse is a year younger than Congaree. They just need to make all Grade 1 races weight-for-age."

Bailey had ridden both Congaree and Medaglia d'Oro in their most recent victories, and would have been forced to choose between the two had both run on Saturday. Bailey's agent, Ron Anderson, had tentatively picked Medaglia d'Oro, but Anderson kept an open line of communication with Bob Baffert, Congaree's trainer, because Frankel had told Anderson he was thinking of not running Medaglia d'Oro.

On Tuesday morning, Anderson called Frankel at Frankel's barn. "Go ahead and ride Congaree. I'm not running," Frankel told him.

Frankel said Medaglia d'Oro would instead be pointed for the $6 million Dubai World Cup, which is scheduled for March 29 in the United Arab Emirates. The possibility, however, of war with Iraq, which is near Dubai, could keep many international runners away from that event.

Even without Medaglia d'Oro, Frankel still has a chance to win the Big Cap with Milwaukee Brew, who was a four-length winner of the race one year ago. If he can win again this year, Milwaukee Brew will become only the second horse to win the Big Cap twice, joining Hall of Famer John Henry.

Medaglia d'Oro is owned by Ed Gann. Frank Stronach owns Milwaukee Brew.

Edgar Prado will ride Milwaukee Brew. Prado will remain at Santa Anita for Sunday's card, during which he will be presented with the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.

The defection of Medaglia d'Oro leaves Congaree as the potential lone front-runner in a field, as of Tuesday, that numbers six. In addition to Congaree and Milwaukee Brew, the others scheduled to run in the Big Cap are Kudos (Julie Krone the rider), Piensa Sonando (Gary Stevens), Pleasantly Perfect (Alex Solis), and Sligo Bay (Laffit Pincay Jr.).

Both Kudos and Pleasantly Perfect are trained by Richard Mandella.