11/03/2003 12:00AM

Rest of year will pad Frankel's record

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ARCADIA, Calif. - With the single-season earnings record secured last Friday, trainer Bobby Frankel will spend the next seven weeks trying to make the record more difficult to break.

Through Sunday, Frankel's runners had earned $17,874,877 this year. On Friday, Frankel broke the previous mark of $17,842,358, set in 1988 by fellow Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

A win by Golden Rahy in an optional claimer at Santa Anita pushed Frankel past Lukas. Frankel entered the day with stable earnings of $17,826,077. Golden Rahy's win was worth $28,800.

With limited starters over the weekend, Frankel finished second Saturday in the $100,000 Bay Meadows Derby with Bis Repetitas, who earned $20,000.

Frankel did not attend Friday's race. He was on a honeymoon in the Caribbean with the former Bonita Boniface. They were married in Maryland on Oct. 12.

With a little less than two months remaining in the season, Frankel's stable could add $1 million or more in earnings before the end of the year.

Assistant trainer Humberto Ascanio has overseen the Hollywood Park division in the past week and says the stable will have plenty of runners at the track's fall meeting, which runs from Nov. 11 to Dec. 21. In addition, Frankel could have several starters in the first week of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, which includes several lucrative stakes. The meet starts on Dec. 26.

On Wednesday, Frankel starts Guardian in a $45,000 optional claimer at Santa Anita, but Ascanio said Frankel will not have many starters through Sunday, the end of the Oak Tree meeting.

"I don't think we'll have much to run at Santa Anita," Ascanio said.

Ascanio said the stable has recently added Intercontinental, a stakes winner in France who finished fourth in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp in Paris on Oct. 12. Intercontinental is a candidate for the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes over a mile on turf at Hollywood on Nov. 30.

Frankel almost broke Lukas's record last year, when his stable earned $17,748,340.

Frankel earned his third successive Eclipse Award as the nation's leading trainer in 2002 and is the top candidate for the 2003 title.

This year, Frankel has won 23 Grade 1 stakes with 13 horses - Aldebaran, Denon, Empire Maker, Heat Haze, Ghostzapper, Medaglia d'Oro, Megahertz, Milwaukee Brew, Peace Rules, Sightseek, Spoken Fur, Tates Creek, and Wild Spirit.

Despite the success, Frankel has had a bittersweet autumn in California. He did not have a winner on Breeders' Cup Day at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, but his starters still earned more than $1 million.

Frankel's best finish that day was a second by Medaglia d'Oro in the $4 million Classic.

Baze confident approaching Cal Cup

Tyler Baze has high expectations for Saturday's California Cup program.

"I'm going to win nine races," he said.

Baze would be trying for a complete sweep of the 10-race card if he had a mount in the Distance Handicap for fillies and mares over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

Instead, he will have to settle for attempting to topple the record set at the 2000 California Cup by Laffit Pincay Jr., who won five races, including the Classic on Sky Jack.

A glance at the jockey standings helps to explain Baze's confidence.

Through Sunday, Baze was second in the standings to Patrick Valenzuela, 34-29. Valenzuela will not ride on four of the last five days of the meeting, which ends Sunday. He will be serving a suspension for an Oct. 24 riding infraction but will be allowed to ride the California Cup program because they are designated races, exempt from routine suspensions.

On Saturday, Baze rides Kedington in the $250,000 Classic, Sea to See in the $175,000 Mile, Bartok's Blithe in the $150,000 Matron, Grant Marty a Wish in the $150,000 Distaff, Highly Tempting in the $150,000 Sprint, Nicole and Ben in the $125,000 Juvenile Fillies, Pleasure Honor in the $125,000 Juvenile, Forward March in the $50,000 Starter Sprint Handicap, and Unamedthegame in the $50,000 Starter Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Baze has a busy day on Wednesday, riding in six of the eight races.

Baze, 21, won the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding apprentice jockey of 2000 but has yet to win a riding title. The absence of Valenzuela for much of the week, and ample opportunities, could give Baze the title.

"I've got the confidence," he said. "I've always been comfortable. It's a matter of learning something every day."

Despite missing part of August due to injury, Baze has had an outstanding year.

After finishing fourth at the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting, Baze finished eighth at Del Mar after missing time because of a foot injury suffered in a spill Aug. 11.

At Fairplex Park, Baze finished third in the standings behind Martin Pedroza and Ryan Fogelsonger. His momentum has continued at this meeting.

"When you're young, you can improve a lot," said trainer John Sadler, who frequently employs Baze. "He had a really good Hollywood Park last summer and was getting going at Del Mar and the spill took him out. He's got the rhythm back again. He's a young up-and-comer."

O'Neill has 10 on card Saturday

Baze rides Grant Marty a Wish, Highly Tempting, Pleasure Honor, and Sea to See for trainer Doug O'Neill, who has 10 runners for California Cup Day.

O'Neill's best chance is probably with Sky Jack, the winner of the Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs in August, who is the 123-pound topweight in the Classic.

In the 1 1/8-mile Classic, Sky Jack is expected to face Calkins Road, Commander's Flag, Continental Red, Grey Memo, Hot Market, Kedington, Mr. Joe C, Red Warrior, and Tizbud.

Calkins Road is the defending champion of the Classic but is not considered a top contender for this year's race. Battling minor injuries, Calkins Road has been limited to two starts this year, finishing seventh behind Sky Jack in an allowance race at Hollywood Park on July 5 and eighth in the Grade 3 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Handicap on turf on Sept. 30.

Trainer John Shirreffs said Calkins Road needed the first race and did not like the turf at Bay Meadows.

On Sunday at Hollywood Park, Calkins Road worked six furlongs in 1:11.60, the fastest of 10 recorded works at the distance.

"Calkins Road is doing very well," Shirreffs said. "If Calkins Road is close turning for home, he can be very tough. He loves the heat of the battle."

Distaff looks strong again

The California Cup program begins at noon and includes a $1 million guaranteed pick six pool.

One race certain to be in the pick six is the Distaff, run over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course. Each year since 1997, the Distaff has drawn 13 or 14 runners. The race has a safety limit of 14 starters.

Among the probables this year are Blind Ambition, Bold Roberta, Centerofattention, Grant Marty a Wish, Icantgoforthat, Roberta's Mango, and Sweetcakesanshakes.

Icantgoforthat finished third in the Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap on Oct. 12 over the hillside turf course.

Trainer Steve Knapp is optimistic about Icantgoforthat's chances in the Distaff but worries that the presence of fellow pacesetter Grant Marty a Wish could take both out of contention.

"But you still have to break good," Knapp said. "They both have lightning speed."

Elusive City now with Mandella

Elusive City, the winner of the Group 1 Prix Morny in France in 2002, has joined trainer Richard Mandella's stable. Owned by The Thoroughbred Corp., Elusive City has started three times this year, finishing unplaced in group company in England.

Last year, Elusive City won the Group 2 Richmond Stakes in England but was disqualified after he tested positive for a banned medication.

Mandella said Elusive City is currently galloping. He said Elusive City will not run in the Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds on Dec. 26.

Valenzuela's suspension reduced

Valenzuela will miss the first two days of the Hollywood Park meeting - Nov. 11 and 13 - after having a suspension for a riding infraction reduced from five days to two by the California Horse Racing Board.

Valenzuela was given the suspension for an incident on June 19 at Hollywood Park and launched the appeal. Administrative law judge Samuel Reyes ruled that the suspension should be reduced, a ruling that was enacted by the CHRB.

Valenzuela appealed three other suspensions - one at Hollywood Park in May and two at Del Mar. A three-day suspension at Hollywood Park in May was set aside by the CHRB, but the appeals of the two Del Mar suspensions, covering eight days of racing, were rejected. The dates for those suspensions have yet to be assigned.

* Graham Stone and Will Dixon, the South Dakotans who hit the $2.7 million pick six in the Breeders' Cup on Oct. 25 on an $8 ticket, will be guests of Oak Tree for Saturday's California Cup program. Stone and Dixon will be making their first trips to Santa Anita and will make an appearance in the winner's circle.