10/21/2003 11:00PM

Frankel has three out of 12


ARCADIA, Calif. - The $1 million Filly and Mare Turf is arguably the most wide-open event on Saturday's Breeders' Cup card. The only sure bet is that trainer Bobby Frankel will be the busiest man in the paddock before the race when he saddles three of the 12 horses entered Wednesday for the youngest of the eight races on the World Thoroughbred Championships program.

Both Bright Sky and Dessert were scratched out of the group of 14 horses pre-entered for the Filly and Mare Turf. Bright Sky, as expected, was withdrawn to run in the Turf. Dessert's trainer, Richard Mandella, decided shortly before entries closed Wednesday morning to scratch her. Dessert, a Grade 1-winning 3-year-old, likely would have been an early pace factor in the race.

"She tied up a little yesterday and today," Mandella said, "so there was just no sense going in."

Frankel sent out the first- and second-place finishers, Starine and Banks Hill, in the 2002 Filly and Mare Turf. He will saddle the formidable trio of Tates Creek, Heat Haze, and Megahertz on Saturday. Tates Creek and Heat Haze are both owned by Juddmonte Farms Inc. but will run as separate betting interests.

"I think the Filly and Mare Turf and the Sprint are the toughest races on the card," Frankel said. "But I like my chances. All three of my fillies are coming up to the race well, and all drew perfect posts for their style. The only problem I'm going to have will be saddling them all."

Tates Creek will break from post 1 under Patrick Valenzuela. Heat Haze drew post 3, with Jerry Bailey replacing Jose Valdivia Jr. Megahertz got post 9, with regular rider Alex Solis aboard.

"Tates Creek may have drawn the best of the three, because she's going to be following the speed," Frankel said. "The other two are both in good positions to drop back and tuck in. Especially Heat Haze."

Islington tops a large European contingent and was established as the morning-line favorite at 3-1. Kieren Fallon will ride from post 4.

Islington blew out a quarter-mile down the stretch in 25.80 seconds over a firm turf course Wednesday morning.

Dimitrova was the only member of the field to have a serious workout on Wednesday, breezing seven furlongs in 1:31.89 over the grass in company with a stablemate. A winner of two of her three U.S. starts, including the Grade 1 Flower Bowl, Dimitrova drew post 10 and will be reunited with jockey Patrick Smullen in the Filly and Mare Turf.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien had his two Filly and Mare Turf hopefuls, Yesterday and L'Ancresse, out on the track Wednesday morning for the first time since they cleared quarantine. L'Ancresse caused a stir when she lost her rider approaching the finish line and briefly ran loose, but she was quickly picked up by her pony rider.

Rounding out the field are 4-1 second choice Musical Chimes, Mezzo Soprano, Voodoo Dancer, and Bien Nicole.