06/27/2003 11:00PM

With no Briara, 'Heir' is favored


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Briar Hill Farm's Regal Heir will be the lukewarm favorite here Tuesday in the $35,000 Canada Day Stakes, where she appears to be the dominant speed among seven fillies and mares going a mile.

Trained by Sid Martin, Regal Heir finished second in her last start, beaten four lengths by the heavily favored Briara in the six-furlong LaVerendrye Stakes on June 14. Regal Heir won't see that rival on Tuesday, however - Briara recently bowed a tendon and already has a breeding date set with Mr. Greeley.

In the LaVerendrye, Regal Heir, a 4-year-old Regal Intention filly, relaxed with blinkers off but couldn't catch Briara despite a good dig-in effort. Regal Heir now looks like the speed of the speed and is proven at a route, having finished third in the Free Vacation Handicap at Hastings last year.

Remiewaterbluz, owned by Well-Being Stable and trained by Clayton Gray, appears to be Regal Heir's main opposition in the Canada Day. A 4-year-old filly by Lucky So N' So, Remiewaterbluz finished third in the LaVeren-drye in her last start, beaten three-quarters of a length by Regal Heir.

Remiewaterbluz has run a route twice without success, but Tuesday's company may be slightly easier than what she faced in Texas last year.

If an upset is in the making, it could come from Top Stage Dancer, who is trained by Wendy Anderson for Rosemarie Zilkowski and Dyck Verner. Excluded from the LaVerendrye due to a lack of earnings, Top Stage Dancer finished second by a neck in a seven-furlong allowance race June 22. A big effort is expected from last year's Matron Stakes runner-up.

Rounding out the field are Miss Noire, fourth in the LaVerendrye after being forced to steady mildly on the turn; Reeyre, a former allowance competitor from Alberta with one local start; Bitdaboss, seventh in the LaVerendrye; and Dawn Charger, most recently fourth after dueling to the top of the stretch in the same allowance race Top Stage Dancer comes out of.