07/02/2008 12:00AM

Nishani tries again in Princess Elaine


Eight Minnesota-bred fillies and mares were entered in the $50,000 Princess Elaine Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Canterbury Park.

This year's renewal of the Princess Elaine appears to be as competitive as last year's running, when four fillies raced to the wire in a blanket finish. Ma Home Cat prevailed in that contest, but several other fillies, including second-place Nishani, return in this year's renewal.

Now a 7-year old, Nishani has improved steadily in four starts this season. In her most recent outing, she finished a willing third in a claiming test that signals she is rounding into her best form for this try at the Princess Elaine. Ry Eikleberry has the call on Nishani for trainer Tammy Domenosky.

Hills of Ireland finished fourth in last year's Princess Elaine, beaten three-quarters of a length. Now a 5-year old mare, Hills of Ireland got a short break after wintering at Turf Paradise and made an eye-catching late move to finish second in the Lady Slipper Stakes last month. Dean Johnson has the assignment for trainer Johnny Johnson.

The "now" filly in this group is Seasahm, who appeared to find her best form when tried over the grass for the first time in her most recent appearance. The Mac Robertson trainee bested a field of solid optional-claiming foes while being forced to race in close quarters during much of the race. Seasahm would be a very strong factor in the Princess Elaine with a repeat of that effort. Derek Bell has the return call.