08/24/2005 12:00AM

It's still sunny in Regal Red's corner


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Regal Red's connections said they weren't disappointed with her second-place finish to Pretty Meadow in the Cover Girl Handicap last Sunday. Regal Red had her seven-race win streak snapped, but she was beaten by only a half-length in a very fast 1:16.47 for 6 1/2 furlongs, and considering it was her first start since being sidelined four months with a saucer fracture, who could complain?

According to her trainer, Robbie Anderson, Regal Red came back as good as ever, and he can start looking forward to having her at her peak for the $150,000 Grade 3 Breeders' Cup Ballerina on Oct. 15.

"Her legs are as cold as ice," said Anderson on Wednesday morning. "The main thing is that we got a race into her, and we're back on track."

Anderson was second-guessing himself a little for not having Regal Red fit enough to run a winning race.

"I could have given her a stronger final work," he said. "If I had, they probably wouldn't have beat her. But it's okay."

Regal Red's rider, Frank Fuentes, also said he was pleased with the performance. Regal Red broke very sharply from the rail and could have forced the issue early, but Fuentes made a calculated move and eased her back into a stalking position.

"With her coming off a long layoff, I really didn't want her to get caught up in a speed duel," he said. "All things considered, she ran a very big race, and I'm looking forward to her next start, where it's going to be very hard for anyone to beat her."

According to Anderson, Regal Red will make her next start in the 1 1/16-mile Delta Colleen on Sept. 17.

Pretty Meadow could try Delta Colleen

The way the speedy Pretty Meadow won the Cover Girl has given her trainer, Janet Armstrong, the idea to try stretching her out in the Delta Colleen. Pretty Meadow has won seven races in her 23-race career, and all of her wins have been at 6 1/2 furlongs. So far, she hasn't been able to carry her speed beyond that distance.

"I wasn't surprised that she won," said Armstrong. "But the way she relaxed through what are slow fractions for her - 22.82, 45.72 - makes me think we might give her another shot at stretching out."

A 5-year-old Kentucky bred, Pretty Meadow has tried a middle distance three times, and her best finish was a fourth in a $50,000 optional claiming race at 1 1/16 miles as a 3-year-old. In her other two starts, she finished out of the money in the Grade 3 B.C. Oaks and sixth last year after forcing very fast fractions in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race open to colts and geldings.

The win in the Cover Girl brought Pretty Meadow's earnings to $140,586.

Armstrong said that Stormented, who finished last of four in the Cover Girl, was a definite for the Delta Colleen. Stormented won the 1 1/16-mile Matriarch Handicap in her previous start.

Wind Surf may have tough Oaks foe

Wind Surf leaped to the front of the local 3-year-old filly division with a fast-closing half-length win in the 1 1/16-mile Nanaimo Stakes on Saturday. Recently purchased by Mike and Karnel Jawl, Wind Surf was making her first start on the West Coast after racing mostly at Churchill Downs. Her trainer, Cindy Krasner, said she expects Wind Surf to move up off the win.

"She ran kind of spotty, but that could be because it was her first race over the track," said Krasner. "She came back in great shape, and I think she'll take a big step forward in her next start."

If that's the case, the timing will be perfect, since her next start will be in the Grade 3 $150,000 B.C. Oaks Sept. 4.

Wind Surf might not be the favorite, though. According to trainer Dave Forster, it's very likely that Washington Breeders' Cup Oaks winner A Classic Life will run in the B.C. Oaks. A Classic Life would get a lot of support off her six-length win in at Emerald last Saturday. She is trained by Forster's son, Grant Forster.

"I nominated her for Grant," said the elder Forster. "He told me that they're leaning towards our Oaks, and I have to think she'll be pretty tough to beat if she comes."

A Classic Life was given a 78 Beyer Speed Figure for her win in the Emerald Downs Breeders' Cup Oaks, which compares favorably to the 68 Wind Surf earned for her win in the Nanaimo.

* Trainer Brian Giesbrecht said Bound to be M V P has been turned out for the remainder of the year because of a popped shin. Bound to be M V P would have likely been a solid favorite for the New Westminster Stakes on Sunday. Bound to be M V P won all three of his starts with ease, including the Ladnesian Stakes.