02/24/2005 12:00AM

Friel's for Real consistently good


Racehorses are in a constant state of flux, either improving or regressing from one start to the next. Friel's for Real, however, barely wavers from a straight line.

From January 2004 to New Year's Day 2005, the 5-year-old Friel's for Real made seven starts. She won six times, including the Grade 3 Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap on the Preakness undercard.

looks like a standout in Saturday's $50,000 Maryland Racing Media Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for fillies and mares at Laurel Park that kicks off the Magna 5. She was a close second in the same race last year.

The one bad race on Friel's for Real's record in the past 13 months came in her most recent start, when she shipped to Southern California for the Sunshine Millions Distaff and finished fifth of 10. She had a legitimate alibi, however, racing five wide on both turns of the 1 1/16-mile race.

Back on the East Coast, where she is based at Philadelphia Park with trainer Ned Allard, Friel's for Real is the 8-5 favorite on Laurel's morning line. She is cross-entered in Saturday's $75,000 Rare Treat at Aqueduct. As of Thursday afternoon, Allard was uncertain where Friel's for Real would run.

Among the other entrants at Laurel, Summer Rainbow and Star of Anziyan both have run fast enough within their past couple of races to threaten.

The 4-year-old Summer Rainbow, part of an uncoupled entry for trainer Graham Motion, comes off a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure achieved in an eight-length win going nine furlongs against third-level allowance competition. She is unlikely to get away with the slow early fractions she did last time, however.

Star of Anziyan also does her best running on the front end, a style she has used to win 2 of her last 4 races. She set the pace and faded in her only other stakes appearance, last month's Nellie Morse.

Pour It On would benefit if the pace were hot and contested. Breaking from post 10, she must take back early before the short run to the first turn to avoid getting caught wide.

Becky in Pink won twice going long at Delaware Park last summer, including a minor stakes. She comes off a two-turn win at Charles Town.

Phillies Dream, a 12-time winner in 29 starts, makes her first start since she was claimed for $32,000 by trainer Mark Shuman for owner Michael Gill.