02/14/2007 12:00AM

Jewels N Gems returns to her favored footing


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Jewels N Gems should be happy to feel the grass under her feet again when she takes on seven other fillies and mares in Friday's $49,500 allowance feature at Gulfstream Park.

Jewels N Gems has finished off the board in each of her last three starts, all on dirt, two of which were originally scheduled for the turf but were switched to the main track. She had not finished worse than third in any of her five starts before that, all on the grass, a streak that includes two stakes wins, one in Gulfstream's $50,000 Bob Slater Stakes last April.

Trained by Kirk Ziadie, Jewels N Gems is at her best rallying from midpack, a style she used to win the Slater by a neck over Pandora's Secret, who will be among her foes on Friday. Edgar Prado will ride Jewels N Gems, in her first appearance since she ran fourth as the 3-5 favorite under allowance conditions at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 3.

Pandora's Secret avenged her loss to Jewels N Gems last May at Calder, cruising to an easy 2o1/4-length victory in the $45,000 Cool Air Stakes. But Pandora's Secret has not hit the board in seven subsequent starts, including a third-level allowance race at a mile here on Feb. 1, when she opened a long lead but faltered badly in the stretch.

The horse to catch probably is Military Lass, who breaks from the outside while making her first start since scoring back-to-back second-level optional claiming victories within a 10-day span here last March. Trained by Scott Lake, Military Lass has only three recorded works since shipping here late last fall.

Trainer John Hennig, whose barn was quarantined at Payson Park for nearly a month earlier this winter because of a case of the equine herpesvirus, saddles his first starter of the meet in this race, the 4-year-old Haddie Be Good.

Haddie Be Good won the P.G. Johnson Stakes at five furlongs on the turf on Oct. 13 at the Meadowlands, rallying from midpack and winning by two lengths. She went off as the 2-1 favorite off that win in her south Florida debut at Calder two months later, but was never a serious factor, finishing ninth after being hung wide for most of the trip.