05/10/2003 11:00PM

Frankel goes with Peace Rules

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ELMONT, N.Y. - For the fifth time in eight days, trainer Bobby Frankel has reshuffled his deck for Saturday's Preakness. But now that he's in New York and has had a chance to look at his horses, it seems safe to go with his latest revelation that Peace Rules would be his runner in the Preakness.

Saturday, Frankel re-opened the possibility of running Empire Maker in the race when it was reported that the Churchill stewards were investigating whether jockey Jose Santos had something more than just his whip in his right hand when he guided Funny Cide to victory in the May 3 Kentucky Derby.

But after looking at some photographs and a tape of the race, even Frankel believes that there's little, if any, evidence to warrant a change in the Derby result.

``It doesn't sound like anything's going to be happening,'' Frankel said Sunday at Belmont Park. ``I watched the re-run and everything. Unless they catch some other thing we don't know about, I doubt if there's anything there.''

The other major Preakness news Sunday was the defection of Indian Express due to a bruised foot.

``I'm going to pull him out of the Preakness, he's got a deal going on in his foot,'' trainer Bob Baffert said. ``I won't be able to work him. It's probably one of those deals where he takes a little longer to heal. He must have done something in the last couple of days. The track's been real wet. I don't feel comfortable. It's along year, he's a good horse.''

As of Sunday, the Preakness field stood at eight definites and three possibiles. The definites, with riders, are: Funny Cide (Jose Santos), Peace Rules (Edgar Prado), Scrimshaw (Gary Stevens), Alysweep (Jorge Chavez), Champali (Jerry Bailey), Cherokee's Boy (Ryan Fogelsonger) Kissin Saint (Richard Migliore) and Senor Swinger (Pat Day). Possible runners include New York Hero (Javier Castellano), Midway Road (Robby Albarado) and Foufa's Warrior (Harry Vega).

On Sunday, Frankel had Peace Rules work four furlongs at Belmont Park. Jockey Rudy Rodriguez was up for the move, but no official time was available because fog enveloped the track preventing the clockers from being able to time most works Sunday.

Frankel believes Peace Rules worked in about 48 seconds. Frankel said Rodriguez told him the work went well.

``He's the kind of horse you never worry about because he never does anything wrong,'' Frankel said. ``He's never had a problem in his life. He worked great. The reason I worked him today was because of the rain for Monday and Tuesday. Also, he works fast so I didn't want to work him too close to the race.''

Frankel also worked Derby Trial winner Midas Eyes five furlongs, but again no time was available. Frankel said Midas Eye may run in either the Peter Pan Stakes on May 24 or the Metropolitan Handicap on May 26. Frankel said he didn't want to jump Midas Eyes from a one mile race to the Preakness distance of 1 3-16 miles.

Frankel will point Empire Maker to the Belmont Stakes on June 7. But, he told a New York Racing Association official Sunday morning that he would not run if he has to move his horse to a restriction barn 24 hours before the race. The New York Racing Association earlier this month announced that all horses running the in the Belmont must be stabled in barn 5 by June 6.

Also on Sunday, Kissin Saint, who finished third behind Empire Maker and Funny Cide in the Wood Memorial, worked five furlongs in company with a stablemate. According to trainer Lisa Lewis, Kissin Saint started the work eight lengths behind a maiden stablemate and finished three in front. Richard Migliore was up for the work, for which no time was available.

``He said he felt great, he said he couldn't have worked any better,'' Lewis said. ``When he asked him he took off and finished well.''