01/04/2003 1:00AM

A mere neck separates two longest shots at wire


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Baileys Edge rallied along the rail and outfinished fellow longshot Friendly Frolic to post a neck victory in Saturday's $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

Baileys Edge returned $37.60 as the second longest price among the six starters in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector. The only horse who went off at higher odds was the 22-1 Friendly Frolic. Day Trader, the 6-5 favorite, finished a tiring sixth and last.

Baileys Edge is a 6-year-old son of Mister Baileys who did not start until his 4-year-old campaign. Trained by Steve Margolis for the Holm Thoroughbred Company, Baileys Edge had made just one previous start against stakes company, finishing fifth in Turfway Park's ungraded Marfa Stakes in the fall.

"We just kind of took a shot and nominated him because the race we were aiming for at Calder did not go," said Margolis, who earned his first graded stakes victory. "He's been training tremendous at Palm Meadows and realistically we were hoping he'd run well and get a piece. Of course it didn't hurt when some of the heavy-heads like Hook and Ladder decided not to run. He needed a fast pace and he got it."

Bet on Joe set fractions of 21.52 seconds and 44.18 with Day Trader in closest pursuit. Jockey Gary Boulanger allowed Baileys Edge to settle 10 lengths off the lead in the run down the backstretch. Baileys Edge still trailed when he cut the corner turning for home, then finished full of run along the rail to edge Friendly Frolic.

Baileys Edge completed six furlongs in 1:09.95 over a fast track and combined with Friendly Frolic for a $305.60 exacta.