05/23/2003 12:00AM

Briara tries to spoil Regal Heir's '03 bow


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - A preview of the female stakes division takes place at Assiniboia Downs on Sunday in the seventh race, when the best fillies and mares on the grounds compete for a $16,000 allowance purse going 5 1/2 furlongs.

Eight have been entered, but the filly everyone will be watching is Regal Heir, who won the 6 1/2-furlong Supernaturel Handicap at Hastings last year.

Trained by Sid Martin for Briar Hill Farm, Regal Heir also finished third in the 1 1/16-mile Free Vacation Handicap at Hastings last year.

This will be the first start in 2003 for Regal Heir, a 4-year-old daughter of Regal Intention, and she has been working solidly.

Regal Heir and the rest in the field are prepping for the six-furlong $35,000 La Verendrye Stakes here June 14.

Briara is the mare Regal Heir will have to beat. A 5-year-old daughter of Clever Trick, Briara is 3 for 4 lifetime and has already won this year, taking a five-furlong condition allowance here May 11.

Briara turned back an outside pace rival early in that race and went wire to wire, and she will probably use similar tactics on Sunday. Owned by Nicholas Lotz, Briara is trained by Bert Blake.

Also in the field is Ms. Lady Rose, a multiple stakes winner from Saskatchewan making her second start off the layoff for trainer Tom Gardipy. Turtle Ridge, an allowance winner at Northlands Park last year, will make her local debut for trainer Carl Anderson. Also starting will be Bitdaboss, runner-up in the Jack Hardy last year for trainer Emile Corbel; Cathy's Star, a double stakes winner here last year for trainer Gordie Marsh; Miss Sandy Dee, the 2002 Victoria Day winner, trained by Terry Westwood and making her second start off the layoff; and Sands Fury, winner of last year's Chantilly.

Sands Fury won her 2003 debut here on May 10 with a rail rally.