06/10/2004 12:00AM

Colonial Downs: Native Heir's time


If Native Heir is ever going to win on the turf, it should happen in the $50,000 Punch Line at Colonial Downs. A five-furlong grass race for Virginia-bred or Virginia-sired horses, the Punch Line attracted a field of six, and Native Heir looks by far the fastest.

There is no doubt that Native Heir has lost a step since last year, when he won four races and $200,000. He comes off a last-place finish in a field of nine in the Grade 3 Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap at Pimlico, but the horses he faced in that race, such as winner Gators N Bears, work fast enough to win this race.

Owned by Michael Gill and trained by Phil Schoenthal, Native Heir finished fourth in his only previous turf start, the 2002 Punch Line.

If Native Heir shortens stride in the straight, the most likely upsetters are Jaki's Magic or Oxford Tea Party, both of whom have run their best recent races going long on turf.