Updated on 09/17/2011 8:39PM

Frankel star targets Classic on Millions Day


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Bobby Frankel has plenty of options for Midas Eyes's 2005 debut. Being a Florida-bred, Midas Eyes is eligible for both the Classic and Sunshine Millions Sprint on Jan. 29. Or Midas Eyes could be held back an extra week and try to add another Grade 1 victory to his resume in the Donn Handicap.

But in the end the decision was easy.

"What's the purse for the Sunshine Millions Classic?" Frankel asked rhetorically. "A million dollars, right?"

Midas Eyes will be one of several older handicap performers that will pass the prestigious Donn, which offers only a $500,000 purse, in favor of the Sunshine Millions Classic.

The Classic field might also include Second of June, Zakocity, Supah Blitz, Limehouse, and Classic Endeavour - one or more of whom probably would have taken the chance to get Grade 1 black type on his record by running in the Donn were it not for the tempting payday offered a week earlier in the Sunshine Millions program.

Midas Eyes has not started since he was beaten a neck by Wildcat Heir in the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial Dash at Pimlico on Nov. 20. Nor has he raced beyond seven furlongs since finishing fourth in the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 2 Strub in his 2004 debut last February. The Sunshine Millions Classic will also be decided at 1 1/8 miles.

"He had some problems last year after the Strub, and we basically had to start back all over again with him, which is the reason why he only sprinted the remainder of the year," said Frankel. "But he's been doing well at Palm Meadows, and I don't think the distance will be a problem. I thought he ran a very good race in the Strub. He was five wide the whole way and probably ran about a mile and three-sixteenths but kept on trying right to the end."

Frankel said he's not decided whether he'll keep running Midas Eyes around two turns after the Sunshine Classic.

"We'll see how he handles the distance and then go from there," said Frankel. "If he runs well I might bring him back to California for the Santa Anita Handicap."

Frankel already has two of the top older handicap horses in the country stabled at Palm Meadows, one of whom is Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year candidate Ghostzapper. The other is Badge of Silver, game winner of the Hal's Hope Handicap here earlier in the meet.

"Ghostzapper is back galloping and will probably begin breezing next week when I get down there after the Eclipse Awards," said Frankel. "Right now I have several options where to start him back, although it's unlikely he'll run at Gulfstream."

Roses in May, Saint Liam head Donn

Despite the loss of Midas Eyes, the Donn figures to come up a strong field, led by Roses in May and Saint Liam. Other potential contenders include the Nick Zito-trained duo of Pies Prospect and Seek Gold, and recent allowance winner Eddington.

Mohammed Moubarak, racing manager for Buckram Oak Farm, said the plan is still to send Hal's Hope runner-up Dynever to Saudi Arabia for the King's Cup rather than keep him in the U.S. for the Donn.

He also said that Eurosilver, another potential Donn candidate owned by Buckram Oak, is not likely to be ready in time to make the race.

Shake You Down's problem

Trainer Scott Lake was having his hand X-rayed by his veterinarian in the office at his barn after training hours on Wednesday.

"Better me than the horses," said Lake, who has an injured left thumb.

One Lake-trained horse who appears to be coming back to good health is star sprinter Shake You Down, who may yet get a chance to defend his Sunshine Millions Sprint title, despite a sub-par performance in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Handicap.

"We found out from that race he's become a non-sweater," Lake reported. "Sometimes that process can be a real gradual thing and I just didn't notice. But I knew for sure after he returned from the Mr. Prospector and was bordering on having a heat stroke. It took us nearly two hours to cool him out after the race."

Shake You Down has been given several treatments to combat the situation, including acupuncture and - get this - a couple of Coors Lites with his daily feed.

"He seems to be doing much better now," said Lake. "We'll work him on Saturday and see how he does, but at the moment we're still shooting for the Sunshine Sprint."

Society Selection might run here

Trainer Allen Jerkens said he is considering two races this meet for the 2005 debut of two-time Grade 1 winner Society Selection: the seven-furlong Shirley Jones Feb. 19 or the 1 1/8-mile Sabin Feb. 26.

"Who knows, I might even wait until we get back to New York to start her," he said.

Society Selection registered easy victories last summer in the seven-furlong Test and the 1 1/4-mile Alabama. She also ran second behind Sightseek in the Grade 1 Beldame before closing out her 3-year-old season with a ninth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

* Second of June worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 at Calder on Wednesday and continues to train smartly for the Sunshine Millions Classic. Second of June has had only one start since his second-place finish in the 2004 Fountain of Youth.