10/02/2007 11:00PM

Frankel seeks more Keeneland magic

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - Bobby Frankel was inducted into the racing Hall of Fame in 1995, so it's not like he never accomplished anything prior to the 1999 Keeneland fall meet.

Still, hindsight suggests that FallStars Weekend in 1999 provided an impetus for the most productive period of Frankel's legendary career. Frankel won three major races at Keeneland that weekend - the Spinster Stakes with Keeper Hill, the Shadwell Mile with Kirkwall, and the First Lady with Happyanunoit - and then proceeded to win the Eclipse Award for top trainer in each of the next four years, from 2000 through 2003.

Not that one necessarily had anything to do with the other, but momentum clearly made its way onto the Frankel bandwagon on that pivotal weekend. Eight years later, Frankel will be back trying to steal the Keeneland show and will be well-represented in most of the nine stakes that help to open the meet.

Frankel, who was scheduled to arrive here Thursday from New York, sent 10 horses here from Belmont Park on Tuesday, a day after Precious Kitten arrived from California. Most have stakes engagements, starting with Country Star in the Alcibiades Stakes on Friday.

"I didn't have her really ready to run last out, but she ran a good race anyway," Frankel said, referring to Country Star's runner-up finish in her only career start. "She can handle the Polytrack because she can run on anything. This looks like a wide-open race to me, and to be honest with you, I think she can win as easily as anybody can."

Frankel will be a busy man Saturday when he runs horses in all five stakes: Art Master in the Shadwell Turf Mile, Saint Anddan in the Phoenix, Fidelio in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, Sugar Swirl in the Thoroughbred Club of America, and Precious Kitten in the First Lady.

Frankel said Art Master "popped a quarter in behind" when ninth in the Woodbine Mile last out, "but when watching him breeze Monday, he looked really smooth."

As for Saint Anddan, "I don't really know about the Polytrack with him, but he ran okay on grass and he's good on dirt," Frankel said.

Frankel said that he has not had Fidelio for very long and that he "rushed him" for his last race, when the colt finished second in a Saratoga allowance.

"He acts like a really nice horse," he added.

Precious Kitten, he said, could be his best chance this weekend. Bred and owned by longtime Keeneland denizens Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Precious Kitten has posted three wins and three seconds from six starts this year, all while racing in the high echelons of the filly-mare turf division.

"She's done really well this year, really improved," Frankel said.

Frankel said he can fondly recall his huge opening weekend here in 1999 and that he would like to do something similar this year. His stable has earned nearly $8 million this year, down substantially from the $15 million-plus it averaged during his four-year Eclipse run, and although no one has announced that they plan to throw him a pity party, Frankel still enjoys winning as much as anyone.

"We've been lucky at the fall meet there, especially in stakes," he said. "So who knows, maybe we'll get one or two this weekend."