06/28/2001 11:00PM

Watch out for the horse from Chile in the Suburban


ELMONT, N.Y. - One of the most arresting confrontations of the season is on tap for Sunday when Include and Albert the Great clash in the $500,000 Suburban Handicap at 1 1/4 miles.

These are two outstanding handicap horses, talented, consistent, and brave of heart. Speed figures present them as being close in performance, an analysis confirmed in the Pimlico Special when Include, with a seven-pound pull in the weights, won by a neck. They are only a pound apart for the historic Suburban and could give us a finish of the kind to be savored in perpetuity.

Include is undefeated this year and raced impressively wherever his travels have taken him. Albert the Great has also travelled with distinction but has been particularly effective throughout his career at his Belmont Park headquarters, where he has won five of six starts. Both are in good hands and in splendid shape.

One of the points to be made about handicaps, however, is that they lend themselves to upsets. Can-do horses, moderately weighted, have been known to run the favorites off their feet.

One such prospect to consider on Sunday is Lido Palace, an import from Chile who races for John Amermann, retired chief executive of Mattel Toys. Lido Palace had an outstanding record in his native land, winning the classic Chilean 2000 Guineas, finishing second in the Chilean Derby, and winning the Chilean St. Leger, the third leg of Chile's triple crown.

Purchased by Amerman, he was turned over to Bobby Frankel, who sent him to Dubai for the UAE Derby. Considering the long trip and the unique character of racing in Dubai, Lido Palace ran well to be third. Several weeks later he was in Chicago for the Hawthorne Gold Cup, ran another good race, and finished second.

"He ran well in both races," Frankel said, "but I don't think he was giving us his best. The riders, Jerry Bailey and David Flores, both noted that they had to ride him along. It was as if he was lazy."

Frankel, a Hall of Fame horseman, will add blinkers to Lido Palace's equipment Sunday in the expectation it will help the colt to focus on the assignment. If the trainer is right, Include and Albert the Great may have trouble conceding eight and seven pounds, respectively, to the horse from Chile.