06/20/2005 12:00AM

Pinch-hit home run

Saint Liam, Edgar Prado aboard, wins the Stephen Foster for trainer Bobby Frankel, who is subbing for Richard Dutrow Jr. while Dutrow serves a 60-day suspension.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - It may be difficult to characterize Bobby Frankel as a pinch-hit trainer, but it looks like the Hall of Famer will be one-and-done following the . When Saint Liam, a highly impressive winner of the Foster for Frankel, makes his next start, it will be in the Aug. 6 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, where the horse will be back in the care of regular trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.

Dutrow said Monday that he watched the Foster on television at his house in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

"I think it's the most professional race we've seen him run," said Dutrow, who began serving a 60-day suspension for medications violations in New York on June 1. "Obviously, we were very, very happy with it. Let's just hope he keeps doing that. He'll make his next start in the Whitney, as long as the track is fast."

Saint Liam has had a tendency to bear out, but the 5-year-old horse ran straight and true down the stretch Saturday.

"That's why I said he looked so professional," said Dutrow. "He looked like a winner every step of the way."

Owner William K. Warren Jr. praised Dutrow and Frankel in his postrace comments, calling them the two best trainers in America. Warren, working through stable manager Mark Reid, turned over Saint Liam to Frankel when Dutrow began serving his days but said Dutrow will get the horse back in late July when the suspension expires.

Saint Liam departed Churchill before dawn Sunday for a van trip to Lexington, Ky., from where he was flown to New York to return to Frankel's barn at Belmont Park.

Eurosilver a pleasant surprise

Although Perfect Drift had no apparent excuse for finishing a perfect-trip third in the Foster, and Badge of Silver was reported to have bled when fading to sixth, trainer Carl Nafzger said he could not have been more pleased with the runner-up finish by Eurosilver.

"We got done exactly what we wanted to get done," said Nafzger. "The colt stepped up. He passed some nice horses and only got beat by one of the best horses around. It was great execution by the horse and by [jockey Rafael] Bejarano."

Nafzger said he believes Eurosilver has room for further improvement.

"I've always believed that a horse has to learn what it's doing, that it needs repetition and experience before it can fully develop," he said. "We're getting there with this horse. He's starting to mature and catch up to the rest of these good horses, and it's mainly because he's getting more experience running against them. That race he ran Saturday has us really excited."

Nafzger will consult with owner Mahmoud Fustok about a next start for Eurosilver. "The Whitney's a possibility," Nafzger said.

Meanwhile, Badge of Silver was vanned to owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey's farm in Nicholasville, Ky., on Sunday to recuperate.

Don't Get Mad's win impressive

Aside from Saint Liam in the Foster, perhaps the most impressive performance of the afternoon came from Don't Get Mad, an eased-up, 3 1/4-length winner of the 1 1/16-mile over six other 3-year-olds.

Don't Get Mad will be flown from Louisville to southern California on June 29, said trainer Ron Ellis, who will run the Stephen Got Even colt next as the probable favorite in the July 9 Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes at Hollywood Park. A good showing in the 1 1/8-mile Swaps likely would earn Don't Get Mad a shot at Afleet Alex in the Aug. 27 Travers at Saratoga, said Ellis.

The Northern Dancer gave Don't Get Mad, owned by B. Wayne Hughes, a remarkable 4-for-5 record at Churchill, with his only defeat being a respectable fourth-place finish in the May 7 Kentucky Derby. Asked whether Don't Get Mad can be equally effective at other tracks, Ellis said, "All I heard before the Derby was he was a one-turn horse, but I think he's dispelled that, if you look at how well he ran in the Derby and the Northern Dancer. I don't know. Maybe people want to stereotype horses before they have enough of a chance to run very much."

NTRA Pick 4 pays $454

The all-stakes NTRA National Pick 4 returned $454 for a $1 bet on Saturday.

The winners were Ashado ($3.70) in the Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont Park; Two Trail Sioux ($9.80) in the Fleur de Lis Handicap and Saint Liam ($3.80) in the Stephen Foster Handicap, both at Churchill Downs; and Lava Man ($19.40) in the Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Ashado and Saint Liam were favored. The pool reached $690,109, well above the guaranteed $400,000.

The four races were televised on a two-hour ESPN broadcast as part of the Emirates Airlines Super Saturday series.

Big win for Day

The victory by Two Trail Sioux in the Grade 2 on Saturday marked the first in a stakes for jockey Pat Day since he returned to riding after surgery on his right hip. Day had the surgery March 30 and returned to action at Churchill on May 18.

Day rode Two Trail Sioux to a front-running triumph in the Fleur de Lis, allowing the filly to open a sizable lead before the field began to inch closer in the final turn. Down the stretch, Day put his mount to a steady drive, and she responded with her sixth win from her last seven starts.

"What a wonderful ride," said Wally Dollase, trainer of Two Trail Sioux. "It was a typical Pat Day ride. He saved all he could on that turn and had a little bit left."

Firecracker for Senor Swinger

Senor Swinger, winner of the , probably will run back in the Firecracker Handicap on July 4, according to John Good, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert. The Firecracker, a one-mile turf race, is coming up extraordinarily tough, with Kitten's Joy and Singletary also among the likely starters.

G P Fleet, second in the Opening Verse, might run back in the Aug. 1 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga, said trainer Steve Flint.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen