07/28/2005 12:00AM

'La Belle' seeks third straight


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - La Belle Fleur goes for her third straight stakes win when she takes on seven other fillies and mares in the $40,000 Lang Michener LLP Matriarch, the feature race at Hastings on Saturday.

La Belle Fleur was a huge overlay at 24-1 when she won the Brighouse Belles over a sloppy track June 11. A Washington-bred, La Belle Fleur proved her win was no fluke when she came right back to beat Victor's Secret in the 1 1/8-mile Senate Appointee on July 2. Victor's Secret will be either the first or second choice in the B.C. Cup Distaff on Monday.

La Belle Fleur does her best running late, and although she will be shortening up to 1 1/16 miles Saturday, there should be ample speed to set her up.

Trainer Janet Armstrong has entered You and Nelly, Stormented, and Champagne Royale. You and Nelly and Stormented will run coupled in the wagering.

All three Armstrong horses appear to be live, but Champagne Royale could have the best shot of upsetting La Belle Fleur. She made a strong late move to finish third by a head behind Stormented in a $75,000 optional route July 15. It was Champagne Royale's first time going around three turns, and she figures to take a substantial move forward Saturday.

Sultry Eyes finished third in a $35,000 optional race June 24, then ran her best race when

losing by a nose to Stormented in the same race that Champagne Royale exits.