Frankly, it was a Frankel kind of day

August 21, 2001 7:24 AM
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            The Hall-of-Fame trainer had a good Saturday. His favorite horse, FLUTE, decimated the field in the Alabama Stakes by almost five lengths while leading at every call. The daughter of Seattle Slew, owned by Juddmonte Farms, broke like everyone else and before you knew it was on the lead.

            Camping out in racing secretary Mike Lakow’s office, Frankel retreated only to saddle or to get a drink of water.

             “If you were around her, you’d see that she knows what’s going on. Everybody thinks I’m nuts but she’s reincarnated,” Frankel said. “When I go to her she knows exactly who I am. I can stand there and play with her for an hour, as soon as I go away, she gets depressed. She’s like a little kid when they see their parents leaving and they don’t want to see them go. From the day I met her I realized it because I had so much time on my hands at Churchill Downs and I started hanging around with her. She’s my favorite.”

             “I believe in reincarnation.” Frankel continued. “I don’t know who she was but she’s been here before. I don’t know who. Could’a been a woman, could’a been anyone. I don’t know who she was but she was here.”

            On Sunday, Frankel won the Saratoga Breeders’ Cup with APTITUDE. He had his picture taken in the winner’s circle, shook a few hands and smiled.

            He then won the $1 million Pacific Classic with SKIMMING. He took an elbow in the ribs from Jorge Chavez’s agent Richard DePass and shook a few more hands. The journalists began assembling.

             “All right let’s go,” he said, beginning to answer their inquiries, and then it was back to the couch.

             “Todd Pletcher sat here and won two. Wayne Lukas got up from here and lost. I’m 3-for-3 sitting right here.” Frankel said.  “I have to get the monkey off my back with the Breeder’s Cup. The Triple Crown, that doesn’t bother me. I’ve only run two horses, maybe three in it. That doesn’t bother me. But hey, if I don’t do it, my career has been pretty good.”

            Old friends Richard and Tony Dutrow came into the office. They sat together and waited for the Finlandia Handicap from Del Mar.

             “I got a shot here. You don’t think I can get lucky enough to win another one do you?” Frankel asked.

            In unison, the room said, “You can!” Frankel laughed.

            About that time, TATES CREEK and Kent Desormeaux broke from the gate.

            “What are you doing Kent?” Frankel asked as Tates Creek went to the lead.

             “Why don’t you let that other filly drop over on you?” Frankel said as they went into the first turn. “I don’t like the way....”

            Then Tates Creek took off on the lead at the top of the stretch and opened up five. “What a ride!” Frankel yelled

            Tates Creek hit the wire. Frankel jumped up and high-fived the room.

            What a weekend!

            SPA SPY: Las Vegan David Cassidy, represented by a Highclair Sales agent, paid $117,000 for Hip 351, a colt by End Sweep out of Dress. Cassidy was with wife Sue at the New York Thoroughbred Breeders reception last week, where New York breds were auctioned off. Cassidy also said that he is looking for property here in upstate New York where a ranch can be built ... Trainer Rick Violette was so impressed with FREE OF LOVE’s 6 furlong workout over the main track on Sunday that he has committed the horse to this Saturday’s Gr.1 $1 Million Travers Stakes. The son of Meadow Flight clocked a 1:12.02 and will be ridden by Pat Day replacing Richard Migliore who has the mount on the Phil Johnson Trained VOLPONI. This will be Johnson’s first horse in the Travers since Nasty and Bold ran third to Affirmed and Alydar in 1978. Another Travers probable SCORPION breezed a half in :48.67 over the Oklahoma training track. If POINT GIVEN comes to the Travers, Lukas will have to find a rider to replace Gary Stevens.