09/29/2005 12:00AM

Megahertz at home for Yellow Ribbon

Email
Horsephotos
At 6,Megahertz is likely to be retired at the end of the year after running in Saturday's Yellow Ribbon, and possibly the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Megahertz has made a career of winning stakes at Santa Anita. Since arriving from France at the start of 2002, Megahertz has won 8 of 12 starts at Santa Anita, including the San Gorgonio and Santa Ana handicaps and three runnings of the Santa Barbara Handicap.

Saturday, for the first time, she starts in the most prestigious turf race run at Santa Anita, the $500,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes.

The race could be her final start in Southern California, and if she runs well, she would run next in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Owned by Michael Bello, Megahertz, 6, will be retired at the end of the year, according to trainer Bobby Frankel. So far, she has amassed a career record of 13 wins in 32 starts and $1,961,594.

"I hope she has one more in her," Frankel said. "After that, we will worry about the Breeders' Cup."

is having her best season, which is why she will be heavily favored against six rivals in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon, run over 1 1/4 miles. Earlier this year, Megahertz won the Santa Ana and Santa Barbara handicaps here and the Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park in June.

Her only loss this year was a runner-up finish over a yielding course in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 13. She had a wide trip and lost by a neck to Angara.

"She ran awesome, but the turf was too soft," jockey Alex Solis said. "It rained the night before the race and she didn't like the surface."

The course will be firm for Saturday's Yellow Ribbon. The race has drawn only one other graded stakes winner from 2005 - Amorama, who won the Grade 1 John Mabee Handicap at Del Mar on July 23. The field includes Flip Flop, who has won two allowance races on turf this year; Cold Cold Woman, who won the CTT and TOC Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on turf at Del Mar on Aug. 26; and Winendyneme, who was second to Megahertz in the Beverly Hills Handicap.

Trainer Ben Cecil is hoping that Flip Flop can be a factor. She won a minor stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf in France last year, but was ninth in the Gamely BC Handicap at Hollywood in May.

"She has to prove herself against those fillies," Cecil said. "She hasn't done anything wrong when she's right. I've been dying to try her over a mile and a quarter."

If Flip Flop were to beat Megahertz, it would be a shocking upset. Solis considers Megahertz as one of his favorites, a closer with a remarkable turn of foot.

When Megahertz won her 11th career stakes in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap last April, Solis gave her a star turn on the way back to the winner's circle.

Instead of returning straight to the winner's circle, Solis galloped up the stretch 100 yards, showing her off to an adoring public which gave her a warm reception.

"She's the people's horse because she's such a character," Solis said. "I wanted to take my time and show her to the people. She enjoyed it so much. She stood there and watched the people."

There may be an encore performance on Saturday.

The field

Yellow Ribbon
Purse: $500,000; 1 1/4 miles; Grade 1

PPHORSEJOCKEYODDS
1Halo OlaR. Douglas20-1
2SmokegetenyoureyesJ. Santiago20-1
3Flip FlopG. Stevens10-1
4Cold Cold WomanK. Desormeaux15-1
5WinendynmeD. Flores8-1
6MegahertzA. Solis1-2
7AmoramaM. Pedroza3-1

* All starters carry 123 pounds
* Odds by Michael Hammersly