08/12/2003 11:00PM

'Voodoo' out, Frankel pair in Beverly D.

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - For days, Arlington racing officials were expecting two horses from Christophe Clement and one from Bobby Frankel for the Beverly D.

But when entries were taken Wednesday morning, those numbers were flip-flopped. Clement entered only Dress to Thrill while leaving out Voodoo Dancer, and Frankel decided to enter both Heat Haze and Tates Creek.

In all, a field of eight was entered in the 14th running of the Grade 1, $700,000 Beverly D.

Voodoo Dancer most likely would have been the favorite.

Clement said Wednesday from Saratoga that Voodoo Dancer, winner of the Beverly Hills and Diana handicaps, recently underwent an endoscopic examination and "she came back just a little bit dirty. I think she's going to be okay, and if that's the case, she'll run back in the Ballston Spa," a $200,000 race on the Aug. 23 Travers undercard at Saratoga.

Clement said he would still make the trip to Chicago to saddle Dress to Thrill, an Irish-bred filly who won the Grade 1 Matriarch last fall. Dress to Thrill, with Patrick Smullen to ride, drew the outside post.

Frankel, who will remain in Saratoga to saddle Spoken Fur in the Alabama on Saturday, said the likelihood of firm turf convinced him to send Heat Haze on a charter flight from Saratoga and Tates Creek on a Federal Express flight from Southern California. No rain was forecast for Chicago through the weekend.

Heat Haze, most recently a strong second behind Voodoo Dancer in the July 26 Diana, will be stretching out to 1 3/16 miles in the Beverly D. For most of her career, the 4-year-old Heat Haze has been a miler type, but Frankel believes the Beverly D. is within her scope. "She's coming on now," said Frankel. "I thought she was finishing pretty well the other day."

Tates Creek, a winner of four straight graded races before finishing in a triple dead heat for second in the recent Mabee Handicap at Del Mar, finished sixth and last in the Beverly D. last year. "She just pressed a little too much early," Frankel said.

Arlington oddsmaker Mike Battaglia listed the Frankel horses as the two morning-line favorites, with Tates Creek the 5-2 choice over Heat Haze (3-1). Although both horses are owned by Juddmonte Farms, Illinois racing rules allow them to run as separate wagering interests.

The others entered in the Beverly D. are Bien Nicole, Dublino, Owsley, Riskaverse, and Walzerkoenigin.

The wild card in the race is the lone foreign entry, Walzerkoenigin, a group winner in Italy, Germany, and France. Traveling lad Paul Harley said handicappers probably can expect the Kentucky-bred filly to come from just off the pace.

The Beverly D., named for the late wife of Arlington chairman Richard Duchossois, is carded as the eighth of 12 races Saturday, with post time set for 4:10 p.m. Central.

France favored in Secretariat

A colt named France - bred in England, based in Ireland, and making his U.S. debut - is listed as the lukewarm morning-line favorite over 11 other 3-year-olds in the third and last race in the Arlington Turf Festival, the 27th running of the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes.

France, trained by Aidan O'Brien, is a winner of 2 of 10 starts. His most notable accomplishment is a runner-up finish behind Indian Haven in the Irish 2000 Guineas in May at The Curragh. He drew post 4 for the Secretariat and will be ridden by Mick Kinane.

Just Wonder (post 9), winner of the Ascot at Bay Meadows and the Cinema Breeders' Cup at Hollywood Park, is probably the strongest challenger in the 1 1/4-mile Secretariat. Trained by Laura de Seroux, Just Wonder has developed a ferocious late kick and will again be ridden by Kent Desormeaux.

Lined up against those two in a typically competitive renewal of the Secretariat are several horses with solid credentials: Lismore Knight (post 1), winner of the Arlington Classic; Evolving Tactics (post 3), winner of the American Derby; Bis Repititas (post 5), an improving Red Ransom colt trained by Frankel; Californian (post 6), runner-up in the American Derby; and Foufa's Warrior (post 2), winner of the Kent Breeders' Cup.

Longshots rounding out the field are Kicken Kris, King's Drama, Native Hawk, Joe Bear, and Gato Gato Gato.

The Secretariat, with a 6 p.m. post, is the 11th race.