Updated on 09/16/2011 7:35AM

Second string may suffice

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Bobby Frankel can win the two richest stakes races Saturday at Hollywood Park, and that's without even using the really good horses he's saving for Del Mar.

Milwaukee Brew is not the best handicap horse Frankel trains, but he won't have to be as good as Mizzen Mast to win the Grade 2 Californian. Neither Skipping nor Denon is the best turf horse Frankel trains, but they won't have to be as good as Beat Hollow to win the Grade 1 .

The only thing missing from Frankel's arsenal is a 3-year-old filly for the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks, since You remains at Belmont Park. Adoration and Ile de France will battle in the Oaks, the third on a 10-race card that features a guaranteed $1 million pick six pool on races 5-10. Frankel holds pick six keys in the Whittingham (sixth) and Californian (ninth).

The Californian is a prep for the Hollywood Gold Cup on July 14. "Yeah, but it is a $500,000 prep and I'll be trying to win," said Frankel.

Milwaukee Brew will be favored in the 1 1/8-mile Californian, his first start since a surprise four-length win three months ago in the Santa Anita Handicap. The Californian will determine whether or not the Big Cap was a fluke. Said Frankel: "It wasn't a fluke. He's just an improved horse."

Eight others entered the Californian, including graded or group winners Bosque Redondo, Redattore, Momentum, and Investor's Dream. The outsiders are Reba's Gold, Lethal Instrument, Bonus Pay Day, and Pie N Burger. The Californian is the second in the summer series for handicap runners. Frankel held Milwaukee Brew from the first one, the Mervyn LeRoy won by Sky Jack.

"I wouldn't have beaten that horse that day at a mile and a sixteenth," Frankel said. "But if the track is like it was [Wednesday], we have a chance." The Hollywood main track has favored speed most of the meet, but a tiring track early this week favored closers.

A 5-year-old by Wild Again, late-runner Milwaukee Brew has won five races and more than $1.1 million from 15 starts for owner Frank Stronach. Despite the three-month layoff, Frankel is not starting a short horse. "He's a dead fit horse, he's ready," Frankel said. Kent Desormeaux rides Milwaukee Brew, who Frankel expects to be five or six lengths off the lead. "The pace is not going to be that bad," he said.

Milwaukee Brew benefited from a sizzling pace in the Big Cap, but the Californian pace figures tepid, at best. Bosque Redondo, a grinder who couldn't keep up with Sky Jack in the Mervyn LeRoy, will be hustled to the lead. A 6-for-14 veteran who won a Grade 2 in April, Bosque Redondo will be followed by by Reba's Gold, Pie N Burger, and Redattore. Slow fractions may allow Chris McCarron and Bosque Redondo to upset, but Milwaukee Brew's main challenger is Redattore.

A 7-year-old who comes off a good second in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile three weeks ago, Redattore is making his third start of the meet. Trainer Richard Mandella could have skipped the $500,000 Californian and waited for the $750,000 Gold Cup. Except for one thing.

"I'm not sure [Redattore] can can get a mile and a quarter," Mandella said. "I know he can get get a mile and an eighth. I'm not going to give up this for that."

Redatorre's versatility will allow him to establish position wherever Alex Solis chooses. Meanwhile, Mandella's second starter, longshot Investor's Dream, is the sleeper. He beat three-other-than turf runners in his U.S. debut, but Mandella said the Brazilian import "trains better on dirt than he does on turf."

Regardless, Milwaukee Brew remains the one to beat, even if he is a Frankel second-stringer. As for Mizzen Mast and Beat Hollow, it is on to Del Mar. Mizzen Mast runs Aug. 4 in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap; Beat Hollow runs July 28 in the Grade 1 Eddie Read.

THE FIELD

CALIFORNIAN STAKES

Purse: $500,000; 1 1/8 miles; Grade 2

PPHORSEJOCKEYWTODDS
1Investor's DreamG. Stevens11612-1
2Milwaukee BrewK. Desormeaux1222-1
3Reba's GoldE. Delahoussaye11615-1
4Lethal InstrumentV. Espinoza1168-1
5Bonus PayP. Day116 20-1
6Bosque RedondoC. McCarron1189-2
7RedattoreA. Solis1203-1
8Pie N BurgerL. Pincay Jr.1168-1
9MomentumG. Gomez1188-1

Odds by Michael Hammersly

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