09/14/2002 11:00PM

Secret Romeo makes appearance


MUSKEGON, Mich. - Secret Romeo, a Michigan champion at 2 and 3, carries top weight of 124 pounds in the $45,000 Frontier Handicap on Tuesday.

The Frontier is a 1 1/8-mile stakes for Michigan-breds.

Secret Romeo has run just once at his home base of Great Lakes Downs this year, winning the Wolverine in May, but has put together a terrific season on the road. He has run in seven stakes races and has won five.

In nine starts this year, he has been worse than second just once, that coming in the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap.

A Service Stripe 4-year-old, Secret Romeo was recently second to Bonapaw in the $100,000 Arlington Sprint Handicap. Owned by the AAC Stable of Tony Catenacci, Secret Romeo is trained by Gerry Bennett, who will also saddle Sounds Sunny in the Frontier.

Secret Romeo, who spots his rivals from three to 13 pounds, will be ridden by Freddie Mata. The pair drew post 6 in the nine-horse field.

Above the Wind, who won this race last year, has been consistent other than in his poor showing in the Wolverine. He won the Michigan Breeders' Governor's Cup in August before rallying late to be second in an overnight handicap. Luis Martinez Jr. will be in to ride for trainer Ronnie Allen. Above the Wind will carry 121 pounds and start from the rail.

That Gift, at 118 pounds, beat Above the Wind in the overnight handicap and will start Tuesday along with his full brother That Monetary.