06/08/2005 11:00PM

Intercontinental ripe for a repeat


ELMONT, N.Y. - Bobby Frankel will run eight horses in seven races on Saturday's 13-race card at Belmont Park. If he only wins one, it will most likely be the Grade 2, $300,000 Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Frankel will send out Intercontinental, who won this race last year and who may just be the best female turf miler in the country. At this distance and over firm turf, Intercontinental appears to have an edge over Grade 1 winners Wonder Again and Riskaverse, who both make their seasonal debuts in this race.

, owned and bred by Juddmonte Farms, is a full sister to 2001 champion turf female Banks Hill and a half-sister to the multiple graded winner Heat Haze. Since coming to this country following her 3-year-old season, Intercontinental is 6 for 8, with three wins at one mile. Her two losses came in a 6 1/2-furlong race at Santa Anita and over yielding turf in the Grade 1 Diana Handicap in 2004.

In her seasonal debut in April at Keeneland, Intercontinental was an easy winner of the Grade 3 Jenny Wiley Handicap. The horses that finished immediately behind her, Delta Princess and Sister Swank, each won her next start.

Meanwhile, Intercontinental has trained swiftly over Belmont's turf course for this.

"She's worked faster than ever, this filly - I don't know if that's good or not," Frankel said. "She seems fine."

Both Wonder Again and Riskaverse have enjoyed success over Belmont's turf course. The fact that the Breeders' Cup will be held here in the fall is the primary reason both are back racing this year. They are using the Just a Game to get their campaigns started.

, who has not run since finishing third in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, has trained brilliantly for her return. Though she prefers softer ground than she figures to get Saturday, Wonder Again did win the Noble Damsel over firm Belmont turf.

"I think she's better right now than she has been," trainer Jimmy Toner said. "I don't see us beating Intercontinental going a mile. The main thing is we get started on the right track."

was beaten 2 1/2 lengths by Intercontinental in last year's Just a Game when they were at equal weights. Riskaverse will be getting four pounds from Intercontinental on Saturday.

Sand Springs, trained by Bill Mott, looks like she prefers firm turf and could be the one to catch. Completing the field are Changing World, Mambo Slew, Please Take Me Out, Fortunate Damsel, and Asti.

The field

Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap
Purse: $300,000; 1 mile, turf; Grade 2

1Please Take Me OutJ. Chavez11320-1
2RiskaverseC. Velasquez1196-1
3IntercontinentalJ. Bailey1232-1
4Mambo SlewG. Stevens11615-1
5Wonder AgainE. Prado1213-1
6Sand SpringsJ. Velazquez1179-2
7Changing WorldP. Fragoso1158-1
8Fortunate DamselJ. Castellano11520-1
9AstiJ. Samyn11520-1
10Forty MarchantaNo rider11910-1

* Odds by DRF
* Main track only: Forty Marchanta