01/31/2006 12:00AM

Super Frolic improving at 6

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Super Frolic will make his first start in three months Saturday, when he runs in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap. He comes off a fourth in the BC Classic.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Everyone knows that Saint Liam won the Breeders' Cup Classic, and most people would probably remember that Flower Alley was second. But you could win some pretty good bar bets asking people to remember who filled out the trifecta and superfecta that day.

Perfect Drift was third. Fourth, beaten only 2 3/4 lengths by Saint Liam despite stumbling at the start, was Super Frolic. It might have been Super Frolic's best performance, something to be said for a horse who had previously run 31 times.

, 6, improved significantly last summer and fall after moving to the barn of trainer Vladimir Cerin, who is based in Southern California. Super Frolic was fifth in the Pacific Classic after pressing a wickedly hot pace, then won the Hawthorne Gold Cup before the Breeders' Cup, in which he was dismissed at 69-1.

After traveling to Illinois and New York last fall, Super Frolic is on the road again for his first start of 2006. This, though, is a homecoming. Super Frolic spent most of his career in south Florida, and he is at Gulfstream Park for the Grade 1, $500,000 Donn Handicap on Saturday.

He appears to be ready for his first start in three months. On Tuesday morning at Gulfstream, just after the second renovation break, Super Frolic zipped a half-mile in 46 seconds, which was the fastest work of 15 at the distance and two seconds better than the next-best time.

"He went really well," said Jesse Marquez, an assistant to Cerin who was aboard for the workout. "Normally he's a little lazy in the morning. He seems to like the track. Hopefully he'll run well on it."

Super Frolic flew in from California on Sunday for the 1 1/8-mile Donn. He is expected to face Andromeda's Hero, Brass Hat, Lord of the Game, Magna Graduate, Network, On Thin Ice, Pie's Prospect, Suave, and West Virginia.

Large field for Holy Bull

A large field is expected to be entered in the Grade 3, $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes on Saturday, but several trainers, including Todd Pletcher, have said they may reconsider running if their horses draw outside post positions, which are considered difficult to overcome going 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream.

The likely favorite is Barbaro, who will be making his first start on dirt after winning all three of his races on turf, including the Tropical Park Derby at Calder on Jan. 1.

"It was just circumstances that he ended up on grass first time," said Michael Matz, who trains Barbaro. "He was going to run in his first race whether it stayed on turf or got moved to dirt. He was very impressive, so we thought we'd try the Laurel Futurity. And then once we brought him down here, we wanted to give him one more race, but one that had graded money. Other than his races, he's only worked one time on turf, and that was just to get ready for the Tropical Park Derby."

In addition to Barbaro, those expected to be entered in the Holy Bull include Big Lover, Doctor Decherd, Fagan's Legacy, Flashy Bull, Great Point, Hemingway's Key, Hesanoldsalt, Itsallboutthechase, Little Cliff, My Golden Song, Rehoboth, Saint Augustus, and Sunriver.

Rehoboth worked six furlongs in 1:18.60 at Calder on Tuesday.

Blazing Rate back from break

Blazing Rate gained himself a reputation by knocking off the previously undefeated Calder 2-year-old kingpin In Summation in the In Reality Stakes last year. Now trainer Richard Root will try to find out where Blazing Rate fits on the national scene Saturday, when Blazing Rate kicks off his 3-year-old campaign in Saturday's Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes.

A son of Exchange Rate, Blazing Rate won three of his four starts at 2, with his only defeat coming to In Summation in the seven-furlong Affirmed. Blazing Rate is undefeated in two tries around two turns, but Root opted to bring him back in the 7 1/2-furlong Hutcheson, which will be his first start in four months.

"I really didn't have much choice," said Root. "The only other option was to run him a mile and one-eighth in the Holy Bull, and that was just too far coming off a layoff."

Root is not necessarily looking for a victory in the Hutcheson but is hoping for a good enough effort to keep Blazing Rate on the Florida Derby trail.

"He ran 59 [seconds] winning his first start going five furlongs, so he can sprint, but he looks like a horse who wants to go two turns from his last couple of starts," said Root. "We've got to start somewhere, and the ultimate goal right now is the Florida Derby if it looks like he's good enough. We're using this race as a good tightener and to see how he fares against Northern competition. The main goal is for him to come out of the race as good as he went, and he doesn't have to win to do that."

A field of eight or nine is likely for the Hutcheson, topped by multiple Grade 1 winner First Samurai. Other potential starters include Fabled, Keyed Entry, City Attraction, Catcominatcha, Almost Certain, and Reaffirmed.

Sam Davis likely next for R Loyal Man

Trainer Tim Ritvo had the option of running R Loyal Man here in the Hutcheson or at Tampa last weekend for the Pasco Stakes. Ritvo chose Tampa and was rewarded with an easy win in a field that included Electrify and the previously undefeated Doc Cheney.

Now Ritvo is faced with another decision: Bring the Calder-based R Loyal Man back to Tampa and stretch him out to 1 1/16 miles for the Sam Davis Stakes on Feb. 18 or keep him sprinting and wait for the Grade 2 Swale at seven furlongs here March 4.

"Right now I'm leaning towards the Sam Davis," said Ritvo. "He's already proven he handles the track at Tampa, and I think he'll stretch out. If he wins, then we will have one of the favorites for the Tampa Derby. If not we can always go back to sprinting if we have to."

R Loyal Man earned a career-best 96 Beyer Speed Figure for his victory in the Pasco. He has won his last three starts, including Tampa's Inaugural Stakes, by an average margin of six lengths.

"It took me a while to learn about this horse, and I finally realized he needed to be pushed on a little more," said Ritvo. "Now I know him inside out. What I liked about his win the other day was not how fast he ran but the way he did it. He just exploded the last sixteenth of a mile."

* Silver Train worked a half-mile in 48 seconds at Palm Meadows on Tuesday. The Breeders' Cup Sprint winner, Silver Train could make his 2006 debut in the seven-furlong Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Handicap on March 4.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch