01/11/2007 12:00AM

Naissance Royale lands back in Florida


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The well-traveled Naissance Royale, who shipped cross-country only to suffer a frustrating nose setback in Hollywood's Grade 2 Dahlia Handicap in her 2006 finale, should get back on the winning track when she returns to south Florida for Saturday's $60,000 Marshua's River Stakes.

Naissance Royale, a 5-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway, is one of two mares trainer Christophe Clement will send out in the 1 1/16-mile Marshua's River, along with Bright Abundance. The pair will race uncoupled in the wagering.

Naissance Royale has made eight starts at seven different racetracks since shipping to the U.S. from France during the summer of 2005. One of those appearances came at Gulfstream Park last spring, when she rallied to a neck decision in a second-level allowance race.

Naissance Royale has had her most success at Woodbine, where she won the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes and finished third behind world-class turf fillies Arravale and Barancella in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor. In the Dahlia, Naissance Royale rallied from near the rear of the pack to gain the lead between calls in deep stretch only to get nailed on the wire by Grande Melody.

"She just got beat in California, but ran very well and has trained nicely since returning to Payson Park," Clement said. "She's had four weeks since her last race, and that should suit her well."

Bright Abundance was winless in six tries in 2006 but did finish second on three occasions and fourth in a Grade 3 event.

"She lost her form a little at the end of the year but is doing well now, and at her best should be tough in this race," Clement said.

Among those with the best chance of upsetting the Clement pair are stakes winners Baena, Carolina Sky, and Thetactics Ofdance.

Baena has not started since leading throughout to capture a second-level allowance race on turf at Hawthorne on Nov. 1. She'll be making her first start for trainer Michael Trombetta on Saturday.

Carolina Sky won five straight races, the last four on grass, to open her 2006 campaign before closing out the year finishing 11th in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

Thetactics Ofdance won a pair of stakes last season as well as a third-level allowance race over the Gulfstream turf course early last year.