08/19/2001 11:00PM

Sunday Stakes roundup (8/19/01)


Aptitude keeps the beat going for Frankel at Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Less than 20 minutes before Skimming gave trainer Bobby Frankel his sixth Pacific Classic victory Sunday, Frankel watched Aptitude easily dispose of six rivals in the $300,000, Grade 2 Saratoga Breeders' Cup at Saratoga.

Frankel was so preoccupied with getting to a television set to watch Skimming that he bolted out of the Saratoga winner's circle before the trophy presentation. When notified he had 10 minutes to post before the Pacific Classic, Frankel came back for the picture before heading to racing secretary Mike Lakow's office to watch Skimming.

Between Aptitude, Skimming, and Flute, who won Saturday's Alabama, Frankel's stakes horses earned $1.23 million in a span of 24 hours. Earlier in the week, Frankel won the Grade 2 Adirondack here with You.

"I'm pretty excited right now," Frankel said.

Frankel said he shipped Aptitude out of California because he thought he'd like the East Coast tracks better. Aptitude, under Jerry Bailey, was never more than four lengths off the pace, established by Gander. Aptitude gradually advanced into contention, made a four-wide move around the turn, and took over turning for home. He finished 4 1/4 lengths ahead of Perfect Cat, who finished a length in front of A Fleets Dancer.

Gander, Top Official, Ground Storm, and Pleasant Breeze completed the order of finish.

Aptitude, a Juddmonte Farms homebred son of A.P. Indy, covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.55 and returned $4 as the even-money favorite.

Frankel, who is 7 for 15 at this meet with four graded stakes wins, said he would point Aptitude to the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Oct. 6. He said would run Lido Palace, the Whitney winner, in the Woodward on Sept. 8.

- David Grening

Emerald: 'Irisheyes' flies

AUBURN, Wash. - Irisheyesareflying attended a crawling pace, then outdueled the front-running Handy N Bold and drew away to a 2 1/2-length victory in Sunday's Grade 3, $250,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs.

Handy N Bold, who ran a half-mile in 47.40 seconds and six furlongs in 1:11, held second over Makors Mark, while favored Mike K checked in fourth in the field of 10.

Irisheyesareflying, a 5-year-old son of Flying Continental who races for Lloyd Graham, Alice Taylor and trainer John Dolan, got the mile in 1:35.40 to earn his first stakes victory after twice placing in graded stakes in California. He paid $7.20 to win as the second favorite and earned $137,500 to boost his career earnings to $471,256. He has six wins in 30 starts.

- Dennis Dodge

* Proudwings nearly gave Germany its second international triumph of the weekend Sunday when she crossed the line first in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.

But Proudwings was disqualified and placed last for veering sharply left inside the sixteenth pole. As a result, the 3-1 Vahorimix was awarded the Group 1 mile race, while Banks Hill and Noverre, the prime victims of Proudwings's antics, were placed second and third.

Vahorimix, trained by Andre Fabre for Jean-Luc Lagardere, has now been placed first in two Group 1's this year. Earlier this month the colt was awarded the French 2000 Guineas when Noverre was disqualified for having tested positive for a banned arthritis drug.

Proudwings and Noverre are scheduled to meet again in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Sept. 29, when they will run into Galileo.

- Alan Shuback