05/24/2005 11:00PM

Megahertz a no-go for Gamely

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Miss Terrible, winning the Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill, will go off as the starting highweight in Monday's Gamely BC Handicap at Hollywood.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Disgruntled over a 124-pound weight assignment, trainer Bobby Frankel said Wednesday that Megahertz will not start in Monday's $350,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park.

The decision robs the Gamely of its leading contender. Megahertz, an 11-time stakes winner and earner of more than $1.6 million, was expected to be a standout in the Grade 1 turf race for fillies and mares over 1 1/8 miles.

As a result of Megahertz's absence, Miss Terrible has inherited the role of starting highweight, at 118 pounds.

It appears that a one-pound increase from Megahertz's victory in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita on April 17 was the deal breaker for Frankel, who said he expected her to stay at 123 pounds or even have a lower assignment.

"I don't think she should have been put up any more," he said. "You don't come out of Grade 2 races beating garbage and pick weight up. I don't think it's fair. That's why I think Grade 1 races should be equal weights."

Megahertz has never carried 124 pounds in a handicap, but none of her rivals in the Gamely has won 11 stakes.

Frankel argues that Megahertz should not have been assigned a higher weight because the Gamely will attract better horses than the Santa Barbara. Nadeszhda, the runner-up from the Santa Barbara, is expected to be supplemented to the Gamely when entries are taken Friday.

Other probable starters for the Gamely, none of whom started in the Santa Barbara, are Halo Ola and Miss Terrible, both multiple Group 1 winners in Argentina; Island Fashion, a winner of three Grade 1 races on dirt who has lost her last five starts; Amorama, the winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks last August who is winless in her last four starts; and Uraib, who won the Grade 3 Buena Vista Handicap at Santa Anita in February.

Frankel said Megahertz, 6, is not injured. She worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 at Hollywood Park on Tuesday. Frankel said he has no substitute plans for Megahertz, who races for Michael Bello.

The Gamely is one of two major stakes on Monday's card, joined by the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile, also on turf.

First meeting for Argentina fillies

Halo Ola and Miss Terrible, who meet for the first time in the Gamely, share a common history. They won the same Group 1 race in Argentina a year apart - the Eliseo Ramirez at about seven furlongs on turf.

Miss Terrible won the race in 2002, the first of seven consecutive victories at the Group 1 level. She ran fourth in the 2003 Gamely in her U.S. debut when trained by Frankel. This year, she has won two Grade 3 races for trainer Brad Ross: the Las Flores Handicap at six furlongs on dirt at Santa Anita in February and the Distaff Turf Mile on the Kentucky Derby undercard this month.

Wednesday, Miss Terrible worked five furlongs in 1:02 at Keeneland, the third fastest of 12 recorded works at the distance. Ross timed her final quarter-mile in 24 seconds. Jockey Mike Smith, who has the mount Monday, was aboard for the workout.

Ross said Miss Terrible, 6, will be sent to California on Friday. Last weekend, she was hospitalized at a Lexington, Ky., clinic after showing signs of stomach distress.

"She's made a dramatic change," Ross said. "She's had kind of a rough week, but she's a trouper. She's 100 percent."

The race will mark a test for Miss Terrible, who has never been tried beyond a mile in this country.

"I asked Mike this morning, 'Do you think we can get it? We have to go a mile and an eighth on the front end?' " Ross said. "He said, 'I think we've got it.'"

Halo Ola won the 2003 Eliseo Ramirez in Argentina and is making her U.S. debut for trainer Luis Seglin in the Gamely.

Wednesday, Halo Ola worked a half-mile in 51 seconds at Hollywood Park, one of the slowest works of the 30 recorded at that distance.

Halo Ola has not started since finishing third in a Group 1 race against males at about 1 1/4 miles on turf in Argentina on Feb. 12. On the same weekend at Santa Anita, the Seglin-trained Miss Loren won the Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap. At the time, Miss Loren was owned by Juan Carlos Bago's Llers Corp., although she was later sold.

Llers Corp. owns Halo Ola, a winner of 5 of 12 starts.

Although Halo Ola has won from the front, Seglin, a native of Argentina himself, says that in the videotapes he has seen, she has been a stalker.

"She comes from behind, but not too far," Seglin said. "She has a good turn of foot."

Many Southern Hemisphere imports are typically given six months off when they arrive in the United States, time that is used to acclimate to the surroundings. Seglin operates on a case-by-case basis, which is why Halo Ola will start after a shorter rest.

"It depends on the horse," he said. "There are always changes when you change countries - different feeds, new style, different ways of training. Some horses resist the changes, others take it well.

"She has an advantage. Her trainer down there trains everything with a saddle, which is a plus," he said. "She's very kind. Some handles most things easily."