05/25/2005 12:00AM

Gigli won't be chasing the pace here


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Bobby Frankel takes the blame for Gigli finishing last as the 2-1 favorite in an allowance race here on May 13. He doesn't intend to make the same mistake twice.

is entered back in a similar spot in Friday's featured eighth race at 1 1/4 miles on Belmont Park's inner turf. A field of six was assembled for the race, which is likely to be run over a soft course. First post for the Sunset Friday card is 3 p.m. Eastern.

Sensing a lack of pace in the May 13 race, Frankel told jockey Jerry Bailey to keep the horse in the race early on. Gigli chased the pace and faded to fifth, though beaten only 5 1/4 lengths. Though there seems to be lack of pace in here, Frankel said he would revert back to the 7-year-old horse's one-run style.

"Jerry wanted to let him drop back, I wanted to keep him in the race," Frankel said. "This time we'll let him drop back."

Rain forced Wednesday's turf races to the main track, and Thursday's grass races were in jeopardy of being moved to the dirt as well. Four turf races are carded for Friday, and the chance of showers does exist.

A soft course could be problematic for Navesink River and Cacht Wells, who both look like logical contenders in this spot. Navesink River, who won the Grade 2 Pan American Handicap at Gulfstream two starts back, finished ninth of 12 over yielding ground in the Grade 3 Elkhorn at Keeneland. Navesink River, trained by Todd Pletcher, did win an entry-level allowance race over "good" ground last summer at Saratoga.

At 123 pounds, must concede four to six pounds to the field. He could be the main speed under John Velazquez.

, trained by Stanley Hough, comes off a third-level allowance win over this course on May 6. His two worst performances since coming to this country, however, have come over soft or yielding courses.

Swagger Stick, trained by Graham Motion, could be the horse to beat. A 4-year-old son of Cozzene, Swagger Stick drops back into allowance company after finishing fourth in the Elkhorn. In that race, Swagger Stick had to steady turning for home. He found room in deep stretch and finished with a nice kick to be beaten just 3 1/2 lengths.

Salic Law, who finished fourth in a very fast one-mile allowance race at Aqueduct, and Muqbil, who has had two tough trips in stakes company in this country, complete the field.