10/02/2005 11:00PM

Frankel equipped for big weekend

Trainer Bobby Frankel has won 14 stakes at Keeneland since 1999.

Bobby Frankel long ago established his dominance on both coasts of the United States, but it has only been in recent years, as purses at Kentucky's major racetracks became competitive with those in New York and Southern California, that Frankel's influence has come to the fore at Keeneland and Churchill Downs.

There is no question that Frankel has been successful in that endeavor. Since 1999, he has won 14 stakes at Keeneland, including the Shadwell Mile on two occasions. This year, Frankel is gunning for the Shadwell Mile with two of his latest stars, Alinghi and Three Valleys, both of whom worked Monday over a firm inner turf course at Belmont Park before shipping into Keeneland on Thursday.

Alinghi, a 4-year-old Australian standout who was highly impressive in winning her North American debut in the Aug. 29 Ballston Spa at Saratoga, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.34. She will run Saturday against males, as she normally did back home.

One of Alinghi's opponents will be Three Valleys, a Juddmonte Farms homebred who has won 2 of 3 starts in the U.S., the most recent a narrow victory in the Sept. 4 Del Mar Breeders' Cup. Three Valleys worked a half-mile in 49.76 seconds.

Frankel, who already has Leroidesanimaux as the top contender for the Breeders' Cup Mile, said that regardless of what happens in the Shadwell he is leaning toward running Alinghi in the Matriarch at Hollywood Park instead of the BC Mile. Conversely, he said Three Valleys, a 4-year-old Diesis colt, is a prospect for the BC Mile.

Besides Alinghi and Three Valleys, several more horses were scheduled to ship to Keeneland for Frankel this week, including Intercontinental, one of the likely favorites for the $400,000 WinStar Galaxy on Sunday. Intercontinental also breezed Monday on the Belmont inner turf, going five furlongs in 1:01.97.

The Grade 1, $600,000 Shadwell Mile is one of six Breeders' Cup prep races on "FallStars Weekend," the three-day weekend that opens the 17-day fall meet at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. The meet opens Friday with the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades, followed by three Saturday stakes: the Shadwell Mile, the $500,000 Lane's End Futurity, and $250,000 Phoenix Breeders' Cup. The Sunday features are the one-mile Galaxy and the Grade 1, $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster.

The Spinster, usually a key prep for the BC Distaff, is coming up with a balanced field, with the top contenders being Bending Strings, Halory Leigh, Indy Groove, and Isola Piu Bella.

Although the weather in central Kentucky has been unseasonably hot in recent days, a cold front is expected to move in by Thursday, with the forecast for opening day calling for a high temperature of just 63 degrees.

Keeneland is ready with an exhaustive list of special events throughout the meet, leading off with a fleece-vest giveaway on opening day for the first 3,000 customers. The meet runs through Breeders' Cup Day, Oct. 29.

- additional reporting by David Grening