Frankel Takes Aim at Hollywood's Turf Festival

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Trainer Bobby Frankel, back at Hollywood Park for the first time since April, aims to add to his leading figures in the track's Turf Festival Nov. 24-26.

Frankel is the runaway leader in the six-race grass festival with 15 winners, nine ahead of his nearest rival.

The Hall of Famer seeks to add to his riches by running Mirabilis and either Phantom Rose or Price Tag in the $500,000 Matriarch Nov. 26, On Board Again in the $500,000 Hollywood Derby the same day and Three Valleys in the $400,000 Citation Handicap Nov. 24. All three stakes are grade I.

Frankel could tie the legendary Charlie Whittingham as the leader in either Matriarch or Hollywood Derby victories. Whittingham has won the Matriarch seven times and the Hollywood Derby four.

Frankel has won the Matriarch the last two times it was run with Heat Haze in 2003 and Intercontinental in 2004 and accounted for six of the last nine winners. The Matriarch was not contested in 2005.

"Mirabilis hasn't run since June in New York," said Frankel, adding that she won the Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIIT) on Kentucky Derby day at Churchill Downs in her previous race.

Mirabilis, a 5-year-old Juddmonte Farms homebred, began her career in France before joining the Frankel stable at the end of last year.

Mirabilis has won four of 15 starts and earned $275,664. Patrick Valenzuela has the call in the one-mile Matriarch for fillies and mares. She will be supplemented to the race.

Phantom Rose and Price Tag, a pair of 3-year-old Juddmonte homebreds, have both joined the Frankel stable from France within the past month.

Frankel originally hoped to run Proudinsky, winner of the Bay Meadows Derby (gr. IIIT), in the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) but opted for On Board Again after Proudinsky became sick.

On Board Again will make his California debut after second-place finishes in the Pegasus Stakes (gr. III) at the Meadowlands and the Discovery Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct in his last two starts. On Board Again will make his turf debut in the 1 ΒΌ-mile test but Frankel expects him to adapt because he is out of a Lear Fan mare.

Frankel won the last running of the 1 1/16-mile Citation in 2004 with Leroidesanimaux, who went on to become male turf champion the following year. Three Valleys, a 5-year-old Juddmonte homebred, was a fast closing third in his United States bow in that race. He finished sixth in the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland in his last start after being carried eight-wide into the stretch.