02/01/2005 1:00AM

No easy spot for Added Edge

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Dale Romans was hoping to give Added Edge a bit of a break following his tough effort in last month's Hal's Hope Handicap by dropping the two-time stakes winner into Thursday's $46,000 allowance feature at Gulfstream Park. But as is so often the case at this meet, there are no easy pickings, even in allowance races.

"This could be a stakes race," Romans said after looking over a field that also includes the multiple Grade 3 winner Sir Shackleton, former Canadian champion Wando, and the Grade 2 stakes-placed The Lady's Groom.

is coming off one of the better efforts of his career, a fourth-place finish behind Badge of Silver and Dynever in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope.

"I thought he ran real big in the Hal's Hope, which came up an extremely tough race for $100,000," said Romans. "And I think he will be hard to beat Thursday even though the competition is going to be a lot stronger than I would have expected."

Added Edge was sent to Romans's barn last summer and won a pair of stakes at the same one-mile distance as Thursday's race. He drew post 11 in a full field of 12 that also includes stablemate M B Sea.

"I'm not that concerned about the post because it's not as big a deal when you're racing out of a chute like this going a one-turn mile," said Romans.

won the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby and the Grade 3 Derby Trial during a 3-year-old campaign that included starts in the Preakness and Travers. Thursday will mark his first try against older horses and first start since finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby on Oct. 2.

, Canadian 3-year-old champion in 2003, will bring career earnings of more than $2.5 million into the race. He is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Handicap on Jan. 8.

has been idle since finishing last in the Grade 2 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap on Aug. 22. His best effort came two months earlier in the Massachusetts Handicap, in which he was beaten a neck by Offlee Wild and Funny Cide after setting a contested pace for the entire nine furlongs. The Lady's Groom also finished third here last winter in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap.