11/01/2003 1:00AM

Frankel sets record for season earnings


ARCADIA, Calif. - With two months remaining in the season, trainer Bobby Frankel established a single-season earnings record of $17,854,877 on Friday when Golden Rahy won an optional claimer at Santa Anita.

Frankel entered the day with stable earnings of $17,826,077. Gold-en Rahy's win was worth $28,800.

Frankel surpassed the previous mark of $17,842,358 set in 1988 by fellow Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Frankel almost broke Lukas's record last year when his stable earned $17,748,340.

In 2002, Frankel earned his third successive Eclipse Award as the nation's leading trainer, and he is the top candidate to earn the title for 2003.

This year, Frankel has won 23 Grade 1 stakes with 13 horses - Aldebaran, Denon, Empire Maker, Heat Haze, Ghostzapper, Medaglia d'Oro, Megahertz, Milwaukee Brew, Peace Rules, Sightseek, Spoken Fur, Tates Creek, and Wild Spirit.

Frankel did not have a winner on Breeders' Cup Day at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, but his starters still earned more than $1 million. His best finish that day was a second by Medaglia d'Oro in the $4 million Classic.

On Friday, Golden Rahy rallied from fifth under Corey Nakatani to win the optional claimer going 1 1/4 miles on turf by 1 1/2 lengths over favored Middleweight.

Frankel was not at Santa Anita on Friday because he is on a honeymoon in the Caribbean with Bonita Boniface. The couple was married on Oct. 12.

Frankel's stable is far from done this year. He is typically active during the Hollywood Park autumn meeting and could have starters in the major stakes in November at Aqueduct and Churchill Downs.