Updated on 09/16/2011 8:44AM

Never underestimate a Frankel horse


PHOENIX - Just when the other trainers thought it was safe to go back in the stakes water . . .

Bobby Frankel's tentacles are always reaching, grabbing, and plundering stakes races. For Sunday's $75,000 Great Lady M. Handicap for fillies at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park, Frankel is still lurking in the deep waters with Twin Set.

Twin Set's initial impressions were good ones. She came over from France last fall with a sterling record, but had been inactive over a year. It didn't matter. She was a good second in the Safely Kept at Hollywood over the same course and distance as the Great Lady M., and followed that with a good second in the Monrovia at Santa Anita. A mile race was too far for her next time out, but in her return to sprinting she bounced back to her sharp form.

When she was entered May 15 in a allowance race, she was hammered down to even money. But she ran fifth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths without a visible excuse.

In front of her that day were two of her Great Lady M. foes: Kalatiara (second) and Brocky's Dream (third).

Frankel has given her plenty of time since then, and it's most encouraging that he hasn't panicked and dropped her in class. She has worked well and could very easily return to her previous sharp form. And she won't be even money today.

But it's not going to be easy. Kalatiara has always hinted at major ability, though that has primarily come at a distance. Then she showed last time that she was just as comfortable sprinting, running second to the very good Fair Apache in that May 15 turf sprint. She is very likely the horse to beat, and it could be that after some up-and-down form she has found her calling as a turf sprinter.

The most puzzling entrant is Go Go. Trained by Warren Stute, Go Go had a great 2001 with five stakes victories but has disappointed in both her 2002 outings. She finished sixth and last in the Desert Stormer Handicap on June 7, when she bled through her Lasix. She is 2 for 3 on turf, her only loss coming by a nose in the Irish O'Brien down the hill at Santa Anita. But those two recent duds do send up warning flags. Believers will get a much better price than usual. The issue now is which Go Go they will be betting and getting.

Gygistar no cinch in Dwyer

Sunday's Grade 2 Dwyer at 1 1/16 miles at Belmont is a rematch between two promising and fast horses: Gygistar and Yankee Gentleman.

The pair met in the June 8, seven-furlong Riva Ridge on the Belmont Stakes undercard. Yankee Gentleman, coming off a five-length allowance romp, was made the 6-5 favorite, but he was a non-threatening fourth as Gygistar, coming off a two-month layoff after a 10-length win in Gulfstream's Hallandale Handicap, blasted home to win by more than four at 4-1.

So why would things be different now? Well, it may still be a one-turn race, but there's a big difference between seven furlongs and 1 1/16 miles.

Gygistar's off-the-pace running style and the way he finished each of his last two races suggests the 1 1/16 miles should be within his scope.

Of course, just because they rally sprinting doesn't mean they will route. And Gygistar is by Prospector's Music, primarily a sprint sire.

The Dwyer will go a long way in determining Gygistar's future. If he runs well, trainer Mark Hennig could stretch him out in races like the Jim Dandy or Haskell. If he doesn't, Hennig could point him to the Grade 1 King's Bishop at seven furlongs.

"I think we've got to watch and see how he runs, what style he runs with, and how it goes," Hennig said. "We're going to have a lot more options if he can go a distance of ground. It doesn't rule out the King's Bishop, but it gives us a chance to run in some races with big pots."

Yankee Gentleman, meanwhile, has every right to win, and he already owns a win at this distance at Belmont. He defeated first-level allowance foes May 12 in a romp. Being by Storm Cat out of the Grade 1-winning mare Key Phrase, there's every reason to believe he will be even more comfortable at this distance than he is at seven furlongs.

The Riva Ridge? Maybe he just used too much energy early as he made a big move to the lead on the turn before faltering. He also may not have been comfortable moving back to a sprint after that route win.

It's quite encouraging that trainer Bill Mott sees fit to come right back in the Dwyer. Mott isn't one to waste starts, so if he believed this horse either wasn't right or wasn't good enough to handle Gygistar he wouldn't be here. And while Yankee Gentleman was 6-5 and Gygistar was 4-1 last time, those odds could well be reversed here, giving Yankee Gentleman fans more cause for enthusiasm.