01/08/2007 12:00AM

Allowance a fallback for Matz with Bee Charmer


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Michael Matz has been trying to get Bee Charmer into a stakes race ever since the Irish-bred won his U.S. debut at Keeneland in mid-October. Having failed to do so, however, Matz will go to Plan B, which is to bring Bee Charmer, a lightly raced turf specialist, back under second-level allowance conditions in Wednesday's $48,000 feature race at Gulfstream Park.

Bee Charmer, 5, who was sent to Matz from France by trainer John Hammond during the summer of 2006, rallied from last over a yielding turf course to win his North American debut by a neck in a 12-furlong entry-level allowance race at Keeneland on Oct. 18.

Matz said he had tried to get Bee Charmer into two stakes at Calder, including the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight, "but both races overfilled and he got excluded because he didn't have enough earnings.

"I've got to find something to get him to run, so for now this race was the best alternative, although I'd prefer if it was a little longer for him. A mile and one-eighth might be too short. Unfortunately there aren't any other options at the moment."

Edgar Prado, who got his meet off to a fast start with two stakes victories on Saturday, will be aboard Bee Charmer for the first time on Wednesday.

Should Bee Charmer not be able to get in gear in time to get up going at 1 1/8 miles, Tiger Woodman and R Last Investment may prove the best alternatives.

Tiger Woodman is in the best form of his career, having won both starts since returning from a one-year vacation at Calder on Oct. 27. A son of Woodman trained by Tim Hills, he won his maiden under for a $32,000 claiming price before returning to beat first-level allowance rivals four weeks later. He will be facing his toughest assignment to date on Wednesday.

R Last Investment is returning to allowance company after finishing a tiring eighth in Calder's Mels Hope Stakes. In his previous start, R Last Investment rallied to a two-length allowance win at Aqueduct, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 93.

The late-running Dr. Bloomer, who just missed under similar second-level allowance conditions at Keeneland in his 2006 finale, is also in peak form.