01/26/2005 1:00AM

Frankelstein's last a throwout


ARCADIA, Calif. - Frankelstein should be forgiven for his third-place finish on Jan. 7, trainer Marty Jones said.

Racing on a sloppy track that did not suit the 4-year-old, Frankelstein was beaten three lengths in his first start against winners. On Friday, Frankelstein makes his turf debut in a $52,000 allowance race over a mile on turf at Santa Anita.

Jones, who trains Frankelstein for King Edward Racing, is expecting a banner performance.

"He's a very nice horse. The other day he didn't go on," he said. "The track was really treacherous. It was a really sloppy track. With all the rain that surrounded that time, I didn't get a chance to do that much with him. He seems to be doing really good."

has one victory in four starts, a maiden race at 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park on Nov. 24. He won that race by fighting for the lead throughout before pulling away to score by a length.

That performance would put Frankelstein close to a win Friday, with one condition - that Ring of Friendship does not draw into the race from the also-eligible list.

Trained by Paddy Gallagher for Nico Nierenberg, had an excellent fall campaign, winning the $50,000 California Cup Starter Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf on Oct. 16 and finishing a game second in an allowance race against California-breds at a mile on turf on Dec. 10. Because all of his wins have come against claimers, Ring of Friendship is eligible for Friday's first-condition allowance race.

Friday's race was oversubscribed with 14 entrants. The field will be limited to 10 since the temporary rails are set 24 feet from the permanent position.

There is a threat of rain on Friday, which could lead to a surface switch. A change would not work against Frankelstein, considering his success on the main track.

On dirt, could be a factor. He was a troubled fifth behind Frankelstein on Jan. 7.

If the race is run on turf, Vennys Public is a threat to win. Owned by Charles Reilly, won a maiden race for statebreds here in October and then ran second and sixth in allowance races at Hollywood Park. In all of those starts, Vennys Public raced near the pace.

Friday's race marks Vennys Public's first start for trainer Neil French, who began training the 4-year-old gelding last month, following the retirement of Richard Lies.