11/09/2004 12:00AM

Frankel may retire fillies after Matriarch


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The Grade 1 Matriarch on Nov. 28 may be the last hurrah for stakes winners Intercontinental and Etoile Montante. Trainer Bobby Frankel said both Juddmonte Farms-owned fillies are likely to be retired after running in the one-mile Matriarch for fillies and mares.

"They're milers, and there aren't many races for them other than the Matriarch," Frankel said. "All the Grade 1's are a mile and an eighth and farther."

Intercontinental, a Danehill filly with seven wins and earnings of $481,263 from 15 starts, worked Tuesday in 1:13.60. A listed stakes winner in France, Intercontinental won the Grade 3 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland and the Grade 2 Just a Game at Belmont this year for Frankel. She enters the Matriarch following a runner-up finish in a turf sprint Sept. 29.

Etoile Montante, who has seven wins and earnings of $559,277 from 15 starts, worked Tuesday in 1:13.80, breezing. A Group 1 winner in France, Etoile Montante won the Grade 3 Las Cienegas at Santa Anita and the Grade 2 Palomar Handicap at Del Mar this year for Frankel. She has not raced since winning the Palomar on Sept. 4.

Frankel firing plenty more shots

The Matriarch and Grade 1 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 28 are centerpieces of the three-day Autumn Turf Festival, in which Frankel holds a typically strong hand. The leading Turf Festival trainer, with 11 wins, Frankel will start favorite Greek Sun in the Hollywood Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles; Leroidesanimaux will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 1 Citation on Nov. 27. Frankel holds multiple nominations to a pair of Grade 3 races for 2-year-olds - the Generous on Nov. 27 and the Miesque for fillies on Nov. 26.

Frankel said Goodwood Handicap winner Lundy's Liability will start in the Citation or the Grade 2 Clark Handicap on Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs, and the mare Megahertz may take on males in the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup at 1 1/2 miles Dec. 4. In addition, a new shooter is aiming for the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity. High Limit, a romping winner of both of his starts last month at Delaware Park, has transferred to Frankel from Anthony Dutrow. High Limit won his debut in a six-furlong race by 10 3/4 lengths, then stretched to a mile and won by 7 3/4 lengths. Owned by Gary and Mary West, High Limit earned a 90 Beyer first out and followed with an 88.

Baze to ride Kela in Cigar Mile

Breeders' Cup Sprint runner-up Kela and jockey Tyler Baze will be reunited Nov. 27 in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct. Baze rode Kela to successive stakes wins at Del Mar, then jumped to Our New Recruit for longtime client John Sadler in the Sprint. Jerry Bailey rode Kela in the Sprint, but is expected to ride Badge of Silver for Frankel in the Cigar Mile. Kela's trainer, Mike Mitchell, said the choice to bring Baze back was easy.

"I want somebody who knows him, and no one rides him better than Tyler," Mitchell said. "I've always felt seven-eighths to a one-turn mile is what [Kela] wants. Now I'm going to a short field and a one-turn mile."

Pico Central would be favored in the Cigar Mile, but trainer Paulo Lobo is talking about the Grade 1 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash on Nov. 20. Lobo said Tuesday that a decision on which race will be made next week.

Star Over the Bay takes rest

Star Over the Bay, the Mitchell-trained gelding who finished last in the BC Turf after reeling off three graded-stakes wins in California, has been turned out for a freshening.

"Somewhere, you have to give these sons-of-guns a break," Mitchell said, adding that he has already plotted a training schedule for Star Over the Bay's comeback. Mitchell said Star Over the Bay is scheduled for his first half-mile breeze Dec. 9.

"That gives me most of December and most of January," Mitchell said.

Star Over the Bay will come back Jan. 29 in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita. Claimed for $80,000 in May, Star Over the Bay has since earned $430,000.

Diligent Prospect training again

Diligent Prospect, who earned a 102 Beyer in his maiden win May 30 and stamped himself as one of the most exciting 2-year-olds of summer, is back in training at Hollywood Park after missing the summer and fall with sore shins. Whether he starts again for owners Royce Jaime and Ty Leatherman will depend on how much Darley Stable is willing to spend for him.

Trainer Doug O'Neill said Tuesday that Diligent Prospect is "doing great and about two weeks away from his first breeze."

Interest from Darley has intensified, and O'Neill said he will not rule out a sale. Diligent Prospect would be the second O'Neill runner in recent months to be sold to the United Arab Emirates stable. In October, Darley purchased Pohave before his second in the Grade 1 Ancient Title. Darley then ended Pohave's campaign before the BC Sprint and instead shipped him to Dubai.