02/25/2005 12:00AM

Frankel changes mind on Big Cap

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Benoit & Associates
Lundy's Liability, winning the San Antonio Handicap, will likely make his second start of the year in the Big Cap.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Lundy's Liability is in a race against time to start in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 5, but trainer Bobby Frankel said Friday that the 5-year-old is likely to run.

The winner of the Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap on Feb. 6, his lone start of 2005, Lundy's Liability had an interrupted training schedule in February. Frankel said earlier this week that Lundy's Liability was doubtful for the Big Cap, but sounded more optimistic Friday.

"I think I'll make the race, but I don't know how confident I'll be," he said.

Lundy's Liability has won stakes in South Africa, Dubai, and California in an eight-race career that includes five wins and earnings of $1,703,930. His most lucrative win came in the $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai last March.

Lundy's Liability joined Frankel's stable last spring and has won 2 of 3 starts in the United States.

Lundy's Liability was scheduled to work Friday at Hollywood Park, but Frankel postponed the workout.

"I want to give him another day to gallop," he said.

Lundy's Liability, who is now scheduled to work Sunday, is a top contender for the Big Cap, which is run over 1 1/4 miles. The other leading contenders are Rock Hard Ten, who won the Strub Stakes here Feb. 5, and Saint Liam, who won the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26 and the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 5.

Friday, Frankel all but conceded the Big Cap to the Florida-based Saint Liam, who will be the lone shipper in an expected field of 11.

"Not only is he the best horse, he hasn't missed any training," Frankel said.

The other probable starters for the Big Cap are Borrego, Congrats, Grand Reward, Imperialism, Island Fashion, Musique Toujours, Supah Blitz, and Truly a Judge.

Friday, Borrego worked six furlongs in 1:12, while Supah Blitz worked the same distance in 1:16.60.

Borrego has started in nine stakes, including a second in the Arkansas Derby and Louisiana Derby last year and a 10th in the Kentucky Derby. In Friday's workout, he started two lengths behind stablemate Imitation and drew alongside after five furlongs.

Supah Blitz's status for the Big Cap is not definite. He could be sent to the $1 million Godolphin Mile in Dubai on March 26, pending an invitation, trainer Doug O'Neill said.

The Big Cap is part of an 11-race program that includes the $300,000 Frank Kilroe Mile on turf and the $200,000 Santa Catalina Stakes for 3-year-olds.

The Kilroe Mile will include Singletary, who won the Breeders' Cup Mile in October, and Leroidesanimaux, who has won five consecutive starts, including the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park in November.

Declan's Moon, the champion 2-year-old male of 2004, is on schedule to make his 3-year-old debut in the Santa Catalina Stakes, which is run over 1 1/16 miles.

Lukas works his prospects

Three of the four leading Kentucky Derby prospects trained by D. Wayne Lukas worked Friday morning at the crack of dawn, but they will scatter far and wide for their next starts. Consolidator and Big Top Cat worked five furlongs in company - Consolidator was timed in 58 seconds and Big Top Cat in 58.40.

"They worked well within themselves and galloped out six furlongs in 1:11-and-change," Lukas said.

Despite a fourth-place allowance finish Feb. 16, Big Top Cat will aim for the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby on March 12 at Golden Gate Fields. Lukas said he believes that Big Top Cat was a short horse when he lost the allowance by more than eight lengths. Consolidator runs March 19 in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

Lukas said Silent Bid, seventh in the Risen Star on Feb. 12 at Fair Grounds, will aim for the Grade 2 Lane's End Stakes on March 26 at Turfway Park. "He's this year's Proud Citizen," Lukas said, referring to the horse who won the Lexington Stakes two weeks before finishing second in the Kentucky Derby.

Going Wild, who has three wins in three starts at the meet, including the Sham Stakes, worked alone early Friday, going six furlongs in 1:12.20. He will run Saturday in the Grade 2 Santa Catalina Stakes.

"He's a warrior," said Lukas. "He's already gone a mile and an eighth, so he's ahead of a lot of them."

O'Neill horse passes CHRB test

Grand Appointment, the winner of the Sensational Star Handicap for statebreds last Sunday, passed a postrace physical examination Thursday that was ordered by California Horse Racing Board officials. Grand Appointment won the Sensational Star in his first start since being claimed for $32,000 by O'Neill.

Ingrid Fermin, the newly installed executive director of the CHRB, said no wrongdoing was found, but said the examination was an example of changes that will be implemented by the board.

"We're doing a number of things differently," she said. "Taking a horse out afterward is not that uncommon. The horse had been claimed and come right back and won a stakes. I didn't expect it to cause any kind of stir."

The Sensational Star Handicap was Grand Appointment's first start for O'Neill. O'Neill, who said he jogged Grand Appointment for state veterinarian Robert Guillen, said he feels like his stable is undergoing extra scrutiny for possible wrongdoing. "There is no doubt about it," he said.

Fermin emphatically denied that O'Neill, or any other trainer, is being targeted.

"No one is being singled out," she said. "We're doing some blood tests. We've looked at some vans. We are going to be more proactive. We're just trying to make a difference and make the CHRB more visible."

* Dream of Summer worked five furlongs Friday in 1:00 and will run March 12 in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Handicap, according to trainer Juan Garcia.

* Good Student, trained by Ron McAnally, worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 and also is expected to run in the Santa Margarita. McAnally also worked House of Fortune six furlongs in 1:12.

- additional reporting by Brad Free