07/15/2004 11:00PM

Super Frolic takes the practical road

Email

MIAMI - Trainer Milt Wolfson had two choices for his versatile Super Frolic: run last weekend for a $500,000 purse in the six-furlong Smile Sprint Handicap or await Sunday's more modest Best of the Rest Stakes, an overnight race that carries a mere $40,000 purse.

Wolfson entered Super Frolic in the Smile but resisted temptation to go for the really big payday, opting instead to keep Super Frolic at his best distance of 1 1/16 miles for the Best of the Rest.

"If you don't get the money it doesn't matter how big the purse is," Wolfson said. "I'd rather have a big chance to win a little purse than a little chance to win a big one. At the end of the year you have to think about the bottom line, and in the long run you're always better off running your horse where they've got the best chance of winning."

Super Frolic turned in perhaps the race of his life in his last start when he rallied to a one-length victory under Abdiel Toribio in an optional claimer, earning a career-best 106 Beyer Speed Figure. The victory was the second in six starts this year for Super Frolic, who was also second in a division of the seven-furlong That's Our Buck Stakes here opening day and fourth in the Grade 3 Skip Away Handicap at Gulfstream Park in his first race of the year.

"The last race he ran like I wanted him to run, and the results speak for themselves," said Wolfson. "A lot of riders get to the quarter pole with him and think he'll open up three lengths, but he won't and then he starts waiting on horses. He's lost a lot of races that way. You've got to have the patience to wait with him, and last time Toribio waited perfectly. If he can get the same trip I think he'll be very tough on Sunday."

Super Frolic's task in the Best of the Rest will not be an easy one, with the multiple graded stakes placed Aeneas among his six rivals. Aeneas has been a source of both pride and frustration for owner Patricia Pavlish and trainer Marty Wolfson over the past 18 months, failing to win a race but finishing second or third in five graded stakes.

Slowed by a suspensory injury sustained in his 2004 debut at Gulfstream, Aeneas returned to action following a five-month hiatus June 25, finishing second as the 3-5 favorite behind the multiple stakes winner Dancing Guy, who was allowed to lope along on a ridiculously slow pace.

Marty Wolfson said he was pleased with Aeneas's return, especially in light of the way the race set up. He decided to keep Aeneas in town for another start before looking to try him against graded stakes company again.

Classic Par would perhaps be the most fitting winner of the Best of the Rest. A 6-year-old who has done the majority of his campaigning in Kentucky and Louisiana, Classic Par is trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., who conditioned the sensational Best of the Rest throughout his career until his retirement at the end of 2003.

Completing the line-up are Island Skipper, a 15 3/4-length winner in his last start, Marco's Word, Model Home, and Whos Crying Now.