10/10/2008 12:00AM

Taletobetold has the class edge

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes is long on words but short on Breeders' Cup implications. Unlike the first 10 stakes at a front-loaded Keeneland fall meet, there will be no California dreamin' following the Franklin County.

Instead, the 5 1/2-furlong turf race will have to stand on its own merits - although, just in case, a $100,000 purse will serve as further enticement for the 10 fillies and mares entered in the Franklin County, the featured ninth of 10 Friday races at Keeneland.

Taletobetold, a turf-sprint pro who was a close second in the Franklin County last year, is back as the apparent one to beat. An earner of more than $300,000 for breeder-owner Bob DeWitt, Taletobetold will start from post 3 under Julien Leparoux, a three-time Keeneland riding champion who has been aboard the 4-year-old filly in 14 of her 24 starts.

Although she typically flashes early speed, Taletobetold rallied from fourth last fall when she missed by a neck to Stylish Wildcat.

"I think that race showed she likes the course here at Keeneland," trainer Eddie Kenneally said. "She's been a very consistent filly. The timing of this race is very good, and she comes into this race in perfect shape."

Having faced a succession of top-flight competitors in her division, Taletobetold appears to have a class edge in the Franklin County. If that proves untrue, the most likely candidates for an upset include American County, a speedy 3-year-old who would be making her first start on turf; Initforthekandy, a hard-hitting 6-year-old fresh from a four-month layoff; Sly Storm, a promising Storm Cat 3-year-old with a 1-for-1 turf record; and Natalicat, a 4-year-old filly with a 2-for-2 turf mark, albeit versus lesser company.

Sly Storm is trained by Tom Proctor, who also will run Creative Design as part of an uncoupled entry.

The Franklin County is part of the late pick four, a 50-cent minimum wager that offers a $200,000 guaranteed pool every Friday.

The Franklin County, first known as the A.P. Indy and then as the Clark County since its 1997 inception, anchors a Friday card that also includes three allowance races (races 5, 7, 8). Ten $1,000 college scholarships sponsored by Keeneland and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association will be raffled off during the program.