06/14/2005 11:00PM

Frankel pair side by side in Foster


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Eight older horses, led by a pair of New York shippers who began their outstanding careers in Kentucky, have been entered for Saturday's $750,000 , the highlight of the post-Kentucky Derby segment of the Churchill Downs spring meet.

The New York invaders who figure as the top two favorites in the Grade 1 Foster 'Cap are 5-year-old horses who have wound up in Bobby Frankel's powerhouse stable: Saint Liam, who will start from post 3 as the 121-pound highweight, and Badge of Silver, who will start alongside in post 4 carrying 119 pounds.

Saint Liam and Badge of Silver were expected to arrive at Louisville International Airport early Thursday afternoon, along with their recently retired stablemate, Ghostzapper. The two Stephen Foster runners were to be vanned to Churchill, while Ghostzapper was to be vanned separately to his new home at Adena Springs near Lexington.

Saint Liam, who initially raced for Tony Reinstedler before being turned over to Richard Dutrow Jr. in the fall of 2003, will be making his first start for Frankel. Saint Liam won the Clark and Donn handicaps before finishing sixth as the favorite in his most recent start, the March 5 Santa Anita Handicap.

Badge of Silver, who began his career under Ronny Werner before Frankel took over about a year ago, won the Hal's Hope and New Orleans handicaps before finishing second as the odds-on favorite in his latest start, the April 25 National Jockey Club at Hawthorne.

Perfect Drift, the 2003 Foster winner, is the probable third choice in the 1 1/8-mile race.

The lone surprise entrant in the Foster is Presidentialaffair, a Pennsylvania-bred gelding trained by Marty Ciresa. Presidentialaffair was most recently third to Eddington in the May 20 Pimlico Special.

The Foster, the ninth of 11 Saturday races, highlights a sensational program that includes five other stakes offering another $1 million in aggregate purses. The Foster is the richest of five races being packaged on the first broadcast in the new Emirates Airlines Super Saturday series on ESPN. A two-hour show begins at 5 p.m. Eastern.

Races for the entire Saturday card at Churchill were drawn Wednesday. The other stakes, with top contenders, are the $300,000 Fleur de Lis (Shadow Cast, Island Sand), the $200,000 Northern Dancer (Don't Get Mad, First Word), the $200,000 Jefferson Cup (Rush Bay, Gun Salute), the $200,000 Regret Stakes (Sweet Talker, Cape Hope), and the $100,000 Opening Verse (G P Fleet, Senor Swinger).