03/08/2006 12:00AM

Frankel duo vs. River Savage


ARCADIA, Calif. - Between Lady Pegasus and Notre Dame, trainer Bobby Frankel has a pair of fillies who seem ideally suited for Friday's feature race at Santa Anita.

They represent a third of the field, and their running styles should complement each other in the optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles, which carries a purse of $59,000.

Neither Lady Pegasus nor Notre Dame needs the lead, and both can stalk the pace or come from behind. Lady Pegasus, who has been second in her last two starts, is mostly a stalker. Notre Dame, a Brazilian-bred, has been second in her last two starts, sprints that had a fast pace.

, winless in her last five starts, won consecutive starts at Churchill Downs and Belmont Park last spring. She later finished fifth in the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park and sixth in the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga.

Owned by Stonerside Stable, Lady Pegasus was favored in her only start at this meeting, an allowance race at a mile on Dec. 31. She finished 2 1/4 lengths behind Dark Beauty after being reluctant to load.

won a Group 3 stakes at a mile on turf in Brazil last July, her final start in that country. She has run very well in California, losing by a nose on a wet-fast track on Jan. 5 and returning to miss by a length as the favorite to Resident Alien in a six-furlong race on Feb. 1.

The Frankel pair must beat , an impressive winner of a one-mile allowance race in her second start in the U.S. on Feb. 25.

Trained by A.C. Avila, River Savage was stakes placed in Brazil last March. She finished fourth in a turf sprint in her U.S. debut on Feb. 11 and returned two weeks later to win by 2 1/2 lengths. In that last start she stalked the pace to the backstretch, engaged the leaders on the final turn, and pulled clear in early stretch.

Other entrants are Feel Ridge, I Can Yodele, and Pandora's Box. Feel Ridge and Pandora's Box were group stakes winners in South America but are both winless in three starts in this country.

I Can Yodele won an optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles on the main track at Hollywood Park in November but is winless in two starts on turf at this meeting.

The optional claimer is the top race on an eight-race program that also has four races for maiden claimers.