Frankel Wins Shuvee with You's Stablemate

(from track report)
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel is something like those people you see playing several slot machines or bingo cards all at once. He's got so much action going on, he's not always sure exactly what he's got.

But Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, Frankel might have discovered a new source of stakes runners. Sumaya US Stable's Wild Spirit, a 4-year-old Chilean import, made her first United States start a winning one as she overtook Smok'n Frolic in the lane to win the $200,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at a mile.

Wild Spirit's stablemate, favored You who ran as a separate entry, was third as the tired pacesetter and post-time favorite.

"I thought there was a chance we could run 1-2 in here," said Frankel's assistant, Jose Cuevas, pinch-hitting for the boss. Frankel was at Pimlico where he was to run Peace Rules in the 128th Preakness. "Wild Spirit ran a big race. They actually told us she was better than Lido Palace. We didn't believe it; we said she had to prove it in America first. I really thought she was going to run big and she did."

That Lido Palace became a grade I winner - he won the Whitney at Saratoga in 2001 and back-to-back runnings of the Woodward here at Belmont Park in 2001 and 2002 - is high praise for Wild Spirit, who entered the day with a 6-3-0 record from 10 starts.

At first, it looked like You had the Shuvee all to herself. Quickly on the lead under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, she was comfortably running on the fast main track and set uncontested fractions of :22 4/5 and :45 2/5. As they came to the top of the stretch, however, Smok'n Frolic seized the lead under John Velazquez and was in a strong spot for the win.

Saving ground all the way, Wild Spirit slipped to the outside under jockey Javier Castellano and was set down for a clear run to the wire. It was no contest and she was barely touched as she came home the winner in 1:34 2/5.

"She was a champion in Chile," Castellano said. "I've been on her in the mornings, and she works really well. She gallops out strong. I wanted to ride her and asked Bobby (Frankel) to give me a chance. I have a lot of confidence in this filly. I had a lot of horse on the turn and knew with the long stretch to make one, strong run."

You was a length and a quarter behind Smok'n Frolic in third, with Princess Dixie, Nonsuch Bay and Raging Fever in tow.

"She ran good," Bridgmohan said of You. "She tried hard the whole way around. She responded when I called on her and was only beaten a few lengths."

Wild Spirit paid $22.40, $8.50 and $3.70. Smok'n Frolic returned $4.20 and $2.40. You showed for $2.30. The $2 exacta was worth $78.50.

(Chart, Equibase)