01/07/2008 1:00AM

Colony Queen takes class hike for new barn


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Colony Queen, the last of the late trainer Frank Gomez's 1,423 career winners, will make her first start since moving to trainer Graham Motion's barn when she faces seven rivals in Wednesday's $43,000 allowance feature at Gulfstream Park.

Colony Queen rallied to a 3 1/4-length entry-level allowance win going a mile at Calder on Nov. 9. Gomez retired several weeks later and died at age 78 on Dec.o23. Colony Queen is owned by Gomez's longtime client and friend, J. Mack Robinson.

"I already had horses for Mr. Robinson when he called and asked me if I'd take a few that he had at Calder once he was notified that Mr. Gomez had become very ill and was going to retire," Motion said. "I really wanted to run her over at Calder going two turns but the races didn't fill.

"I'd have preferred running her two turns at Gulfstream as well, but there was nothing here, either, and she really needs to run since it's been two months since her last start.

"She's done well since getting into our program, but I'm not so sure I can say I really know what to expect of her in this race."

Colony Queen will be jumping in class over the competition she has been facing across town as she makes her Gulfstream debut Wednesday - especially against the graded-stakes-tested Looky Yonder and Mostbeautifulstorm, as well as the improved Striking Tomisue.

Like Colony Queen, Looky Yonder has changed barns since her last start, which came on June 2 for trainer Ken McPeek in Churchill Downs' Grade 3 Dogwood Stakes.

A daughter of Johannesburg, Looky Yonder returns under the tutelage of Richard Dutrow Jr. and has worked steadily at Palm Meadows, where she posted a bullet six-furlong drill in 1:14 on Dec. 30.

Looky Yonder's two career wins both came at the seven-furlong distance of Wednesday's race. She finished fourth despite an unlucky trip in Churchill's Grade 3 La Troienne at 3.

Mostbeautifulstorm was also fourth in graded-stakes company last season, when beaten two lengths in Del Mar's Grade 2 San Clemente on the turf. Mostbeautifulstorm has not started since finishing a wide-running fourth as the 2-1 favorite at Churchill Downs on Nov. 10.

Striking Tomisue ran the best race of her career when posting a 90 Beyer Speed Figure in beating first-level allowance opposition going 1 1/16 miles at the Meadowlands on Oct. 3. She, too, has been training well for her 2008 debut, includes a bullet 47.40-second half-mile at Palm Meadows on Dec. 28.