05/09/2004 11:00PM

Frankel's older stars waiting to run


ELMONT, N.Y. - While many of the nation's top handicap horses will gather in Baltimore on Friday for the Grade 1, $500,000 Pimlico Special, trainer Bobby Frankel's duo of Medaglia d'Oro and Peace Rules will await other engagements down the road.

Frankel was in New York Monday morning where Peace Rules, the Oaklawn Park Handicap winner, drilled five furlongs in 59.43 seconds over the Belmont Park main track. Peace Rules will most likely make his next start in the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 12. Frankel said he chose the Stephen Foster over the $250,000 Brooklyn run here the same day "only because of the money.''

Meanwhile, Medaglia d'Oro, who finished second in the Dubai World Cup in March, will only have two more starts before calling it a career. One of those starts will be in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30. Frankel has yet to decide when the other one will be. The Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 7 is one possibility as is the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Oct. 2.

"I'm going to bring him back here soon,'' said Frankel, noting the horse is still at Hollywood Park. "He's only going to have two races; the objective is to win the Breeders' Cup. A lot of people want to stand him at stud. Maybe, he can go out finally on a big one.''

Frankel said that Master David, the 12th-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, would most likely make his next start in the Peter Pan Stakes here on May 22. Frankel said he felt Master David didn't handle the sloppy track in the Derby.

"If he got beat three or four lengths I'd say maybe he's not good enough - which he still might not be good enough,'' Frankel said. "He ran a little bit in the stretch, it was around the turns he didn't run.''

Frankel said Wild Spirit, who won last year's Shuvee, was not nominated to this Saturday's renewal of that race because she is sidelined with puffy ankles. Frankel will point her to a summer campaign at Saratoga.

Wild Spirit last ran in the Apple Blossom, in which she finished second but was placed third by the Arkansas Racing Commission. The commission overturned the stewards' ruling on race day to deny the claim of foul made by jockey John McKee aboard third-place finisher Star Parade, alleging interference in upper stretch.

"It's a joke,'' Frankel said of the commission's decision. "The four guys on the racing commission, if they watch three races a week that's a lot, and they're going to overrule the stewards? It opens up a whole can of worms that the racing commission knows more than the stewards.''

Frankel said that Sightseek, who finished fourth as the odds-on favorite in the Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap on April 30, would make her next start in the Ogden Phipps Handicap here on June 19. Sightseek won that race last year.

Toccet, a horse that Frankel was given by owner Daniel Borislow last week, has been turned out for a month and will be pointed to a Saratoga return.

Roar Emotion likely for Shuvee

Though trainer Kiaran McLaughlin entered Roar Emotion in Friday's Pimlico Distaff, he said Monday that she is more likely to run in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Shuvee Handicap here. The Shuvee is expected to include Storm Flag Flying, Smok'n Frolic, Passing Shot, Final Round, and possibly Elegant Mercedes and Potra Fabulous.

McLaughlin said he was pleased with Roar Emotion's last race, a third-place finish behind Mayo on the Side in the Doubledogdare at Keeneland.

"We were in the three path and Mayo on the Side sat a perfect trip behind the leaders and got through on the rail and won,'' said McLaughlin, who noted that Mayo on the Side came back to beat Azeri in the Humana Distaff.

McLaughlin said that Bending Strings, winner of last Saturday's Nassau County, would be pointed to the Grade 1 Acorn on June 4. Of course, McLaughlin has the right to change his mind, especially if both Ashado and Madcap Escapade show up in the one-mile race.

Friends Lake drills six-furlong bullet

Friends Lake, the Florida Derby winner and 15th-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, worked a sharp six furlongs in 1:12.12 Monday morning over the Belmont Park main track. It was the fastest of six at the distance.

Trainer John Kimmel said Friends Lake will be pointed to the Belmont Stakes on June 5 with a possible start in the Peter Pan on May 22.

"I don't want to compromise my Belmont chances, but it'd be nice to get a race into him, too,'' Kimmel said.

Brooklyn next target for Congrats

Congrats, who is undefeated in two starts this year, will likely run next in the Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont on June 12.

Congrats won the Alysheba Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths over Perfect Drift on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs April 30. In his first start this year, Congrats, a 4-year-old son of A.P. Indy, won a classified allowance race at Keeneland on April 3.

Congrats was also being considered for the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs on the same day as the Brooklyn.

"There's a lot of merit to staying here for the Brooklyn because then we can point for the Suburban," said Shug McGaughey, who trains Congrats for Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider.

Congrats set the pace in the Alysheba, but McGaughey said he thinks the horse's best game is when he relaxes early, like he did when he won at Keeneland.

"I think [more] racing will help this horse get it all together," he said. "I believe he's going to like to a make run in his races. We think he's a good horse and we're going to treat him that way."

Quantum Merit comes back strong

Quantum Merit turned in an impressive performance in his first start since November when he won an optional claimer by 2 1/4 lengths over accomplished rivals at Belmont on Sunday.

Quantum Merit covered the mile over the firm turf in 1:33.42 and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 102.

Del Carroll II, who trains Quantum Merit for Very Un Stable, said the 5-year-old likely will run back in the $100,000-added Kingston Handicap for New York-breds on May 23. Carroll's only concern about running Quantum Merit in the Kingston is it could be too close back after such a strong effort on Sunday.

"It's always fun when you wonder if a horse is fit enough and then he runs beyond his training," Carroll said. "The whole goal is the Kingston, but you have to wonder, did he do too much two weeks out? We'll know if he ran too hard in another week."

In his last start before Sunday's race, Quantum Merit won a division of the New York Stallion Stakes, the Cormorant, at Aqueduct on Nov. 9. He also won the Ashley T. Cole Handicap in the fall at Belmont.

* Strong Hope, the Carter runner-up, and Capeside Lady, scheduled to make her first start of the year in Sunday's Bouwerie Stakes, worked in company over Belmont's main track on Monday. Strong Hope, who is being pointed to the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile on May 31, covered five furlongs in a bullet 59.02 seconds. Capeside Lady's time was 59.93.

- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson