11/26/2008 12:00AM

Frankel sends out strong pair


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Bobby Frankel would like to help himself to seconds. Although he has Spring Waltz as the starting topweight in the Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs, Frankel also has entered an up-and-coming 3-year-old, Skylighter, perhaps looking for a little gravy.

Indeed, Frankel brings a veritable horn o' plenty to the Thanksgiving Day proceedings, having secured the services of the leading riders at the Churchill fall meet, Julien Leparoux and Robby Albarado, for Skylighter and Spring Waltz, respectively. While a handful of their rivals appear capable of defeating Frankel's pair, he holds a strong hand in the $150,000 Falls City.

"They're both doing really well, and hopefully they'll run as well as they've trained," Frankel said earlier this week from California.

Ten other fillies and mares will oppose the uncoupled Frankel duo in the Grade 2, $150,000 Falls City, a 1o1/8-mile fixture to be run for the 94th time Thursday. Spring Waltz, with her 120-pound assignment, will break from post 8 when she seeks her first victory since Frankel took over the training of the 5-year-old gray mare for Stronach Stable following a rousing triumph in the Grade 2 Rampart Handicap at Gulfstream Park in March. Spring Waltz was a sharp second in her last start a month ago at Aqueduct.

"I'm pretty sure this is her last race, so we'd like to send her out a winner," said Frankel.

Skylighter (post 6) toiled without success in the maiden ranks for about a half-year before finally breaking through in May at Belmont Park. Since then, she has not been beaten, having captured a Belmont allowance in July and the Grade 2 Indiana Oaks in her last start on Oct.o3.

"I know her numbers [speed figures] might not match up, but there really was no other place to run her, and obviously she's been improving," said Frankel.

If neither of the Frankel pair prevails, then Brownie Points, Swift Temper, and Unforgotten are prime considerations. Brownie Points, easily the leading earner in the field with nearly $950,000, most likely will be making the 27th and final start of her distinguished career.

The Falls City, like virtually all races at Churchill, has undergone a purse cut since last year, when it was worth $324,300 with added money. It is the 11th of 12 races.