04/23/2003 11:00PM

Lilac Queen wins again


LEXINGTON, Ky - Trainer Bobby Frankel was walking out of the winner's circle following Lilac Queen's easy four-length victory over Beyond the Waves and eight other older fillies and mares in Thursday's $100,000 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland when a fan yelled out, "Hey, Bobby, don't you ever lose?"

Frankel simply smiled while hurrying off to watch the replay of Lilac Queen's first U.S. stakes victory, and her third straight one-sided win since returning from a 20-month layoff.

"I wish she didn't win that easily," said Frankel. "Racing secretaries are going to have a ball with her now."

With Jerry Bailey aboard, Lilac Queen settled in mid-pack off the pace of Hi Tech Honeycomb during the opening mile of the 1 1/2-mile Bewitch. Lilac Queen advanced to contention outside rivals leaving the final turn, took the lead in early stretch, and drew off. Beyond the Waves rallied behind Lilac Queen and finished a head in front of the fastclosing San Dare, who had a very tough trip.

Lilac Queen is owned by Gary Tanaka. She returned $3.40 after covering the distance in 2:29.70 over a firm turf course.

Frankel said he was uncertain what would be next for Lilac Queen.

"You don't want to overrace them now," said Frankel. "You want to make sure they're good for the end of the year when they put the big money up."

San Dare's trainer, Rick Hiles, voiced his displeasure with the trip his mare received.

"The rider [Mark Guidry] put her where she had no shot," said Hiles. "He took her back to last then had to circle the whole field. It definitely cost her second money and any chance she had to win the race."