12/13/2001 1:00AM

'Heads' above the rest


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Bobby Frankel fussed when he saw that Heads Will Roll will carry highweight of 117 pounds in Saturday's $150,000 Dahlia Handicap at Hollywood Park. But, his 3-year-old filly did not earn that status by accident.

Victories in a division of the Grade 3 Pebbles Handicap at Belmont Park on Oct. 14 and the Matiara Stakes here on Nov. 10 showed that Heads Will Roll is in outstanding form.

In the Grade 2 Dahlia, run over 1 1/16 miles on turf, Heads Will Roll faces older fillies and mares for the first time in her career. Among her 10 opponents are Verruma, who won the Grade 3 Athenia Handicap at Belmont Park; Kalatiara, the winner of the Royal Heroine here last July; and the Frankel-trained Dancingonice, who was second in the Las Palmas Handicap at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.

Heads Will Roll spots the opposition from one pound (Kalatiara) to nine (the hopelessly overmatched Apollo's Music, a recent maiden winner).

"They did put too much weight on her with her being a 3-year-old," Frankel insisted. That argument aside, bettors are likely to favor Heads Will Roll. Owned by Amerman Racing, her late kick has not let her down in her last two starts. In the Matiara, she closed from sixth in a field of seven to catch Live Your Dreams in the final sixteenth.

Alex Solis rides Heads Will Roll and will have his mount at the back of the field early. Dancingonice, who nearly stole the Las Palmas at 17-1, and Favorite Funtime the winner of the Cat's Cradle Handicap on dirt on Nov. 23, will ensure an honest pace.

Kalatiara is another closer with strong credentials. An Australian-bred, the 4-year-old Kalatiara won the Royal Heroine Stakes in her U.S. debut, but was unplaced in the Beverly D. and Yellow Ribbon Stakes. The 10-week break since the Yellow Ribbon will work to her advantage, according to McAnally.

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