07/09/2003 11:00PM

Illness derails Blue Boat, Chiselling


ELMONT, N.Y. - Two Bobby Frankel-trained runners picked up minor illnesses this week and were forced to miss races.

Blue Boat, who would have been a short-priced favorite in Thursday's allowance feature at Belmont Park, had mucus in his nose and was scratched. Frankel also was unable to enter his Grade 1 winner Chiselling in Saturday's $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap because the colt spiked a fever.

Frankel doesn't believe the illnesses are serious.

"With Blue Boat, I didn't want to take a chance because he was going to be 3-5," Frankel said.

If Blue Boat rebounds quickly, Frankel will point him to the $150,000 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga July 25.

Frankel said he believes the change in the weather, from a heat wave to cooler temperatures, was behind Chiselling's fever.

Even with those runners temporarily out of commission, Frankel on Thursday morning was busily circling Saratoga stakes in the condition book. If his early predictions are correct, he will be a player in at least half of the 33 stakes on the flat at the 36-day meet. Last year, Frankel won six Saratoga stakes.

Among the major races Frankel has earmarked is the $750,000 Whitney, in which he will run Medaglia d'Oro, who might be joined by stablemate Milwaukee Brew. Frankel said the Grade 1 Whitney on Aug. 2 could be used by Milwaukee Brew as a prep for the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 24 at Del Mar. Milwaukee Brew hasn't run since March 1, when he won the Santa Anita Handicap.

"He had a 104 temperature the morning after the race and had pneumonia for a month," Frankel said.

Medaglia d'Oro, who sustained a foot injury when he became cast in his stall, hasn't run since winning the Oaklawn Park Handicap April 5.

On Thursday, Frankel worked Peace Rules, who is being pointed to the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park Aug. 3. Peace Rules covered a half-mile in a bullet 48.02 seconds on Belmont's main track.

On the same day as the Haskell, Frankel will run Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker in Saratoga's $500,000 Jim Dandy, a prep for the $1 million Travers, which the trainer won last year with Medaglia d'Oro.

Frankel said that Dollar Bill, who finished third in the Suburban last Saturday at Belmont in his first start since November, might run in the $250,000 Arlington Handicap on the turf July 26. Dollar Bill, who made his first start for Frankel in the Suburban, has never run on the turf.

"He's worked well on the turf," Frankel said. "I didn't have him nearly ready for a mile and quarter [in the Suburban]."

Owner Peace, trainer Arnold split

Owner John Peace and trainer George "Rusty" Arnold have split after nearly 17 years of working together.

Arnold said Peace removed 17 horses from Arnold's barn last Friday and gave them to George Weaver, a former Pletcher assistant, to train.

Arnold trained several graded stakes winners for Peace, but in the past year and a half, the trainer said, the winners were slow in coming.

"Mr. Peace was disappointed in the results and wanted to do something different," Arnold said Thursday. "I was disappointed in the results, too - nobody knew it better than me. Some of the horses in training got hurt, and some simply couldn't run. There were no hard feelings."

This year in New York, through Thursday's card, Peace had a record of 1-5-4 from 20 starters.

Arnold said he has filled most of the stalls vacated by Peace's runners with horses that Arnold had stabled at Churchill Downs this spring for his main client, G. Watts Humphrey Jr. The Churchill meet closed last weekend.

Among the stakes winners trained by Arnold for Peace, a trustee emeritus on the New York Racing Association's board, were Delay of Game, Naskra's Return, Top Secret, and West by West.

Chavez breaks collarbone; Uske bruised

Jockey Luis Chavez suffered a broken collarbone and a cut on his right hand that required stitches in a spill in Wednesday's ninth race. Apprentice Shannon Uske, also involved in the chain-reaction accident at the top of the stretch, escaped with no broken bones, just bruised ribs.

Uske was expected to be out of action for at least a few days. There was no word on how long Chavez would be sidelined.

Javier Castellano, the third rider to go down, was not injured. Castellano rode two races on Thursday but took off his remaining two mounts because he was not feeling well. The illness wasn't believed to be related to Wednesday's spill.

None of the three horses involved was seriously injured.

Lexington coming up light

With the $500,000 Virginia Derby being run at Colonial Downs on Saturday, Sunday's $150,000 Lexington at Belmont is coming up a bit light. Both races are for 3-year-olds on the turf.

Among the starters listed as probable by the racing office, Hidden Truth, a Kentucky shipper trained by Neil Howard, looks like the horse to beat. Other probables for the 1 1/4-mile grass race are Coalition, Deputy Lad, Sharp Impact, Supervisor, Urban King, and Vettriano.

o Five portable luxury suites, available for rent, will be introduced at the Saratoga meet. The suites, similar to stadium skyboxes, will be located near the At the Rail Pavilion on the clubhouse turn. NYRA uses the portable suites for Belmont Stakes Day.

o Thursday's pick six, which featured a two-day carryover of $202,317, was hit. The 71 winning tickets returned $9,222 each. Five of six was worth $81.