09/18/2004 11:00PM

Sightseek still perfect at Belmont


ELMONT, N.Y. - If the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships were held at Belmont Park this year instead of next, trainer Bobby Frankel wouldn't think twice about running Sightseek in the $2 million Distaff.

But Frankel is concerned that the tighter turns of Lone Star Park - where this year's Breeders' Cup will be held on Oct. 30 - may work against Sightseek. That explains why Frankel's focus this fall is on the two Grade 1 races at Belmont Park.

On Sunday, Sightseek won the first of those two races, romping to a ridiculously easy 11 1-4-length victory over four overmatched rivals in the $300,000 before 6,881 at Belmont Park. Pocus Hocus finished second, 2 1-2 lengths ahead of Miss Loren. Class Above and Bounding Charm completed the order of finish.

It was the 11th career victory from 19 starts for Sightseek, her fifth from as many starts at Belmont. Sightseek, a 5-year-old daughter of Distant View, increased her earnings to $1,995,216 for owner/breeder Juddmonte Farms.

Sightseek is such a big filly that the configuration of Belmont Park, with it's long backstretch and wide, sweeping turns enables her to perform at her best.

"The reason is you can sit and take a hold of her and she can get into her stride and everything," Frankel said. "It's big turns and she's a big filly; you don't have to rush her off her feet like at some other tracks."

Frankel said he is concerned that Lone Star Park is more like Santa Anita, a track where Sightseek has never won and finished fourth as the 3-5 favorite in last year's Breeders' Cup Distaff.

"It's a small track, a lot of horses [in the race], and she might get shuffled around," Frankel said of Lone Star. "I know she loves this track. Maybe she can beat the boys on this track for all I know."

John Velazquez replaced the injured Jerry Bailey aboard Sightseek and called the win "as easy as you can have it." Racing between Class Above and Pocus Hocus through an opening half-mile in 46.32 seconds, Velazquez was able to ease Sightseek back and take her to the outside entering the far turn.

Sightseek forged to the front at the five-sixteenths pole and bounded home an easy winner under mild hand urging. Sightseek covered the 1 1-16-miles in 1:41.51 and returned $2.50 as the 1-5 favorite.

There was no wagering offered. There was a minus-place pool of $15,777.

Frankel said Sightseek would most likely seek her second straight victory in the Beldame when that $750,000 race is run here on Oct. 9. A decision on whether she starts in the Breeders' Cup will come after that.