11/07/2001 12:00AM

Frankel barn isn't done yet

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Bobby Frankel's stable could finish the year with a flourish on two continents.

Frankel said Wednesday that Lido Palace and Timboroa may be headed to Japan for late November races.

He is considering Lido Palace, the winner of the Whitney Handicap and Woodward Stakes earlier this year in New York, for the Japan Cup Dirt on Nov. 24. Timboroa, third in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park, may start in the Japan Cup the following day.

The retirement of Fantastic Light, the Breeders' Cup Turf winner, was a factor in the decision to consider Timboroa for the Japan Cup, Frankel said. A 5-year-old, Timboroa was 11th in the Japan Cup last year, but failed to take his customary place near the front of the field early on and was never a factor.

Frankel had hoped to start Lido Palace against Tiznow in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 23. But when Tiznow's connections said the two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner would not run in that race, it became more likely for Lido Palace to run in the Japan Cup Dirt.

"That's what I'm thinking right now," Frankel said.

The absence of those two horses from California will be a relief to rival horsemen, who have dealt with a red-hot Frankel barn throughout the year.

Frankel's stable is currently second in the nation in earnings this year, winning $13.3 million through Monday and trailing only Bob Baffert.

Last year, Frankel won the training title at this meeting with 14 winners, and he is expected to contend again. He has horses for most categories, with the exception of cheap claimers.

Some of his stable stars will be staying in the barn this fall, however.

One is Squirtle Squirt, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint, who is not expected to start at the meeting and is unlikely to run in the Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

Frankel is worried that at least some voters may be attracted to Breeders' Cup Sprint runner-up Xtra Heat in the year-end voting for top sprinter if Squirtle Squirt falters. "I don't want to take any chances for the Eclipse," he said. Squirtle Squirt will be pointed for a 2002 campaign.

Flute, a contender for champion 3-year-old filly, is unlikely to start at this meeting, but You, fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, may run in the $200,000 Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 16. Frankel said that You was sick after the Juvenile Fillies, but her win in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes made her one of the nation's top 2-year-old fillies.

This weekend, Frankel has leading contenders in both stakes - Saturday's $100,000 Matiara for 3-year-old fillies and Sunday's $70,000 Steinlen Handicap.

Heads Will Roll, who won a division of the Grade 3 Pebbles Handicap at Belmont Park on Oct. 14, is the likely favorite in the Matiara, at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

In the Steinlen, Blu Air Force, sixth in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park on Oct. 7, starts over the course on which he won his first U.S. start.

Frankel could have a big day on Nov. 25, the highlight of the fall meeting, which features the Hollywood Derby and Matriarch Stakes.

Blue Steller, the winner of the Bay Meadows Derby last Sunday, and Aldebaran, the winner of the Nassau Handicap at Belmont Park on Oct. 28, are Frankel's top hopes for the Hollywood Derby. Starine, tenth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, will start in the Matriarch Stakes.

Earlier this year, Frankel hoped that The Seven Seas, who was second in the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park in August, would make the Matriarch. She finished seventh in the Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Santa Anita in late September and was diagnosed with an entrapped epiglottis that required minor surgery.

The Seven Seas could return for the Waya Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf on Dec. 8, but her loss in the Yellow Ribbon still bothers Frankel.

"I thought she was a cinch that day," Frankel said.