06/02/2005 11:00PM

Melhor Ainda latest phenom for Frankel


ELMONT, N.Y. - Bobby Frankel will most likely never have another Ghostzapper. And he may not always be represented in the Triple Crown. But one thing Frankel will always have is a talented grass filly.

The latest in a long line of top-flight talented female turf runners is , who looks to remain unbeaten when she takes on seven rivals in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Sands Point Handicap at Belmont. Ten 3-year-old fillies entered the Sands Point, scheduled for nine furlongs on the inner turf course, but two are main-track only.

Melhor Ainda ended up in the Sands Point after scratching out of last weekend's Boiling Springs Handicap at Monmouth Park when wet weather moved that race to the dirt. Melhor Ainda, a daughter of Pulpit, has won all three of her starts by a combined 15 lengths. She is 2 for 2 at Belmont, including an eight-length score in the Miss Grillo Stakes last October.

"She just wins everything so easily,'' said Frankel, who has trained champion turf mares Possibly Perfect, Ryafan, and Wandesta. "She hasn't won a Grade 1 yet, but potentially I think she's a Grade 1 filly.''

Following the Miss Grillo, Melhor Ainda was diagnosed with an ankle chip that was surgically removed. Melhor Ainda made her 3-year-old debut in the Appalachian at Keeneland, a race she won by 3 1/2 lengths despite racing wide the entire trip and having trouble changing leads.

"She was five wide the whole way,'' Frankel said. "She's an exceptional filly.''

John Velazquez, aboard for two of her three starts, has the call again.

Paddy's Daisy finished second, 3 1/2 lengths behind Melhor Ainda, in the Appalachian. She was a bit headstrong in the early stages of the race, but was no match for the winner through the lane. Paddy's Daisy was giving Melhor Ainda two pounds that day. They are at equal weights on Sunday. Todd Pletcher, trainer of Melhor Ainda, said he believes everything will have to break his filly's way to turn the tables on Melhor Ainda.

"That filly looks awful tough,'' Pletcher said. "We need a perfect trip and all things to go our way."

My Typhoon, a half-sister to the European champion Galileo, finished fourth behind Melhor Ainda in last year's Miss Grillo. In her 3-year-old debut, My Typhoon romped to a 2 3/4-length victory in the Hilltop Breeders' Cup at Pimlico.