08/10/2005 11:00PM

Frankel: Won't catch King's Drama

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
King's Drama wins an allowance at Belmont in July with an impressive 109 Beyer Figure.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The decision by trainer Graham Motion to run Better Talk Now in Saturday's Arlington Million, may have taken the prerace favorite out of the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational at Belmont Park, but at least one trainer doesn't think it affects the outcome of the Grade 1 race.

Bobby Frankel, trainer of King's Drama, believes his horse could win the Sword Dancer with or without Better Talk Now, last year's Breeders' Cup Turf winner, in the field. King's Drama looms the lone speed horse in what will be an eight-horse field in the Sword Dancer, run at 1 1/2 miles on the Mellon Turf Course.

"I thought he'd win anyway because there's no pace in the race," Frankel said Thursday morning. "He'll be crawling on the lead."

Though Better Talk Now was entered in the Sword Dancer, Motion said the lack of pace and the extremely firm turf course here convinced him to run in Chicago, where it has been raining and the race has more speed. Motion entered Better Talk Now here only in case the plane scheduled to take him to Chicago from Maryland on Friday can't go.

has won 3 of 6 starts since coming to North America from France in the spring of 2004. His three wins have been in allowance company, while his three losses have come in Grade 1 stakes. King's Drama was sidelined for eight months because of a chip in his ankle and a fractured knee, which required surgery.

"He's going 100 percent now," Frankel said.

In his return, King's Drama won a 1 1/8-mile allowance race at Belmont Park on July 14 by six lengths, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 109. He led gate to wire under John Velazquez.

With Velazquez in Chicago on Saturday, Frankel has tabbed Jorge Chavez to ride King's Drama. Though Chavez has won twice on the gelding, he is mired in a 3-for-101 slump, including a 0-for-48 stretch on this circuit since the middle of the July 14 Belmont card.

Frankel will also saddle , who is winless in seven starts in this country since June 2004. He has finished in the top three in four straight graded stakes. Ramon Dominguez, aboard for two runner-up performances, rides Vangelis as he has chosen to stay in New York rather than ride Better Talk Now in Chicago.

finished fifth in last year's Sword Dancer at 7-2. Trainer Dallas Stewart noted that Silverfoot was found to have the start of a fracture shortly after that race, and the gelding was sidelined for eight months. He has returned with two wins and a second behind Better Talk Now in the United Nations at Monmouth.

Other contenders include Request for Parole, second in last year's Sword Dancer; Relaxed Gesture, second in a pair of graded stakes; Dreadnaught, winner of the William McKnight Handicap; and Meteor Storm, last year's Manhattan winner.

Request for Parole makes his third start off a layoff after nearly dying from pneumonia. He finished a good third in the U.N. last out.

Relaxed Gesture was a hard-charging second behind Cacht Wells in the Bowling Green at 1 3/8-miles.

"I do have a small question mark at the distance, but we'll find out," said Christophe Clement, trainer of Relaxed Gesture.

Clement makes a rider switch from Brice Blanc to Jose Santos, with whom he teamed to win the 1999 Sword Dancer with Honor Glide.

had a tough trip when third behind Cacht Wells and Relaxed Gesture in the Bowling Green at Belmont. He won his only start at 1 1/2 miles in last December's William McKnight Handicap.

Meteor Storm is winless in his last four starts but his only poor effort came in the Manhattan Handicap in June, when he lost both front shoes.

Rochester, winless the last two years, completes the field.

The field

Sword Dancer Invitational
Purse: $500,000; 1 1/2 miles, turf; Grade 1

1Meteor StormJ. Castellano1208-1
2VangelisR. Dominguez11810-1
3RochesterR. Migliore11630-1
4Relaxed GestureJ. Santos1163-1
5SilverfootR. Albarado1168-1
6Request for ParoleE. Coa1208-1
7King's DramaJ. Chavez1164-1
8Better Talk NowC. Sutherland1235-2
9DreadnaughtJ. Samyn12012-1

* Odds by Art Gropper
* Television: Saturday, 4-6 p.m. Eastern; ABC