03/10/2007 12:00AM

'Blues' never wavers


STICKNEY, Ill. - Bluesbdancing ran straight as a string through the stretch run of the Regal Rumor Stakes on Saturday at Hawthorne, and her trajectory might have made all the difference.

Modjadji and jockey Chris Emigh lurked at the fence, waiting for a hole to open somewhere in the stretch, but Bluesbdancing, under jockey Eddie Perez, seized the lead at the quarter pole and never drifted.

Modjadji could have squeezed through at some point, scraping paint, but Bluesbdancing stayed strong, defeating her fellow Illinois-bred by a length in the $48,375 Regal Rumor.

Emigh's foul claim against Perez concerning the stretch run was disallowed.

Bluesbdancing ($3.80) rebounded from a subpar performance in her most recent start at Hawthorne. Last November in the Powerless Handicap, Bluesbdancing staggered home a distant seventh of eight, an atypical performance from a mare who has stuck near the top of the Illinois-bred female sprint division for the last two seasons. Trained by Terry Gore, she raced close to the pace from the start of the Regal Rumor, and won for the ninth time in 17 career starts, running her Hawthorne record to 5 for 7. She was timed in 1:11.84 over a "good" track. Trout River Red finished third behind Modjadji.

Pretty Jenny, who has beaten Bluesbdancing several times, was scratched by trainer Christine Janks in favor of Modjadji, a development that pleased Gore. "[Bluesbdancing] always runs well fresh," Gore said. "I was glad Pretty Jenny wasn't in there."

Agilar tries to get noticed

In the winner's circle after the first race on Friday at Hawthorne, Janelle Bettis, the wife of veteran Chicago horsemen Charlie Bettis, said something one is unlikely to hear in Chicago: "I was so glad when I heard Trey was coming."

Trey Agilar had just piloted the Charlie Bettis-trained Bachelor's Gulch to victory in a bottom-level claimer, demonstrating that with the right horse in the right spot, he is a competent jockey. Thing is, few in Chicago know Agilar, who just shifted his tack to Hawthorne from Delta Downs, where his father, Tony Agilar, trains horses. Janelle Bettis and Agilar happen to hail from adjacent central Louisiana towns.

Why leave slots-rich Delta for winter at Hawthorne? Just a 20-year-old's attempt to advance his career.

"I wanted to try something different," Agilar said.

Agilar began riding in 2004, and won 27 of 368 mounts last year. From only 13 starters this meet, he has 4 wins.