08/26/2005 11:00PM

Frankel eagerly awaits Alinghi


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It's hard to imagine Bobby Frankel getting too excited over a Grade 3 turf stakes during the final week of the Saratoga meet, but the Hall of Fame trainer is eagerly awaiting Monday's $200,000 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap, which marks the United States debut of his newly acquired grass filly .

Alinghi, a 4-year-old Australian-bred, was purchased privately by owners Alan Jones, John Leaver, and John Messara for a reported $2.2 million during the spring and was turned over to Frankel shortly thereafter. She comes to the U.S. with 10 wins in 16 starts and earnings of more than $2.6 million.

"I'm really excited about this filly and can't wait to run her," said Frankel. "She has trained extremely well. My only concern is the way the turf course has been favoring speed here lately. She will be coming from behind at this distance."

The 1 1/16-mile Ballston Spa will mark Alinghi's first start beyond a mile. She will also race with Lasix for the first time.

"She's a bleeder, which is why they never ran her too far in Australia because they couldn't treat her over there," said Frankel. "But I'm not worried about her getting the extra distance. If she runs her race she should win."

Despite its Grade 3 status the Ballston Spa has lured a strong and extremely competitive field. The lineup includes , runner-up in the Grade 2 Diana earlier in the meet; Riskaverse, winner of the Grade 1 Flower Bowl in 2004; Cloakof Vagueness and Path of Thunder, who won divisions of the De La Rose Stakes over this course three weeks earlier; as well as Grade 3 winners Snowdrops, Finery, La Reina, and Delta Princess.

Que Puntual has never been better, winning Woodbine's Grade 2 Nassau Stakes prior to chasing home Sand Springs in the Diana.

"She's doing great and she definitely belongs with this field even though the race has come up pretty tough," said trainer Angel Penna Jr. "Her last race was probably her best yet when she finished second behind Sand Springs, who was allowed to get too easy a lead. I'm not very happy with the post, since she drew 12. We will just have to deal with it as best we can."

With rain in the forecast, four horses were also entered main-track-only, including multiple Grade 2 winner Capeside Lady.