10/13/2002 11:00PM

Glia sails in muddy Pebbles


ELMONT, N.Y. - Bobby Frankel may have himself another runner.

Glia, a recent arrival from France where she raced exclusively on turf, demonstrated the ability to handle a wet dirt track Monday, galloping to a 3 1/4-length victory in the $114,300 Pebbles Handicap at Belmont Park.

Nonsuch Bay, the 9-5 favorite, closed to finish second, six lengths ahead of Delta Princess. Aztec Pear and Bronze Autumn completed the order of finish.

The victory was one of four on the day for Javier Castellano. Castellano picked up the mount on Glia when Jerry Bailey took off his mounts Monday to pass a kidney stone.

Because of the heavy rains that hit New York over the weekend, the Pebbles was transferred from the inner turf course to a muddy main track. Eleven of the 16 horses entered were scratched, and the race for 3-year-old fillies lost its Grade 3 status pending a review by Graded Stakes Committee.

Frankel had entered three horses, but scratched Nunatall and Pertuisane. Though Glia had never run on dirt, her breeding suggested she could handle it. Glia is by A.P. Indy out of the Mr. Prospector mare Coup de Genie, making her a half-brother to multiple dirt allowance winner Snake Mountain.

After breaking slowly, Glia raced fourth down the backside, but was never far behind the pace-setting Bronze Autumn. Glia took Castellano to the leaders around the turn, and she split horses with a rush turning for home and made the lead in upper stretch. She opened up a big advantage in the stretch and was never seriously threatened by Nonsuch Bay.

"I tried to wait for the hole, and when she saw the hole she took off and made the one move and she was gone," Castellano said.

Glia, who was in receipt of 10 pounds from Nonsuch Bay, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.68 over a muddy track. She returned $6.40 to win.

Frankel said he would take Glia back to California, but did not know what race he would point her to.