06/23/2005 12:00AM

Frankel does some tinkering

Bill Straus
Chattahoochee War (left), here winning the Transylvania, ran seventh in his last start, the American Turf.

Bobby Frankel will take the blinkers off Chattahoochee War in hopes of getting him to relax in the Grade 3, $500,000 Kent Breeders' Cup Stakes Saturday, one of the richest races of the season at Delaware Park.

The Kent purse was doubled this year, and the 1 1/8-mile turf race attracted 14 3-year-old entrants.

The $500,000 purse puts the Kent on a par with the Delaware Oaks. Those two races trail only the $1 million Delaware Handicap in purse value at the meet.

This will be the first time Chattahoochee War races without a hood.

"He's a very nice horse," said Frankel. "He was pulling a little too hard in the last race. I think that's what got him beat."

The equipment change comes after a seventh-place finish in the Grade 3 American Turf Stakes on Oaks Day at Churchill Downs. His prior efforts stamp him as the likely Kent favorite.

has already won two turf stakes: the Grade 3 Transylvania at Keeneland and the Hill Rise at Santa Anita.

He has 3 wins in 6 career starts, all on the grass.

The rest of the lineup for the Kent remains uncertain, with six horses - Interpatation, Spring House, Touched by Madness, Crown Point, Wallstreet Scandal, and El Viaje - also cross entered in Saturday's $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup at Colonial Downs.

Trainer Dave Donk said Thursday that Crown Point will run in the Kent. Trainer John Hennig also confirmed that Spring House, the runner-up in the Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park, is headed to Delaware.

So is .

"It was a very close call," said Wallstreet Scandal's trainer, Rick Violette, of the Kent decision. "My horse is doing terrific, and I really think he'll have something to say, regardless of which race we went to."

Wallstreet Scandal briefly traveled the road to the Triple Crown in the spring. He ran fourth in the Louisiana Derby but was eased in the Florida Derby.

His next, and most recent, start came in the Home of the Brave turf stakes at Belmont Park on May 20 when he finished last in the five-horse field.

Violette said Wallstreet Scandal started to get the "thumps" - a twitch or spasm in the flank area most commonly seen in electrolyte-depleted or exhausted horses - in the Florida Derby and the Home of the Brave. Violette said he will reduce Wallstreet Scandal's Lasix dosage Saturday to avoid another such incident.

"Hopefully, we will have that under control," he said. "If we do, I think he will run huge."

Learning has yet to make a mistake. He is unbeaten in two starts, both on the grass, and has the advantage of having won over the Delaware course at the Kent distance of 1 1/8 miles.

"He found himself in front in both races," said trainer Kevin Boniface. "and I don't think he wants to there. He was a little green coming through the stretch. He'll have something more to run at in here."

will be making his second straight stakes start. He was third to English Channel (one of the favorites in the Colonial Turf Cup) in the Woodlawn on the Preakness undercard, a race in which he was wide on both turns and got bumped in the lane.

"He got hit pretty hard at the head of the stretch," said trainer Michael Matz. "I don't know if I was going to catch the winner, but maybe I would have under different circumstances."