03/02/2007 12:00AM

Princess Iris eager for U.S. bow


ARCADIA, Calif. - Judging from her recent training style, Princess Iris is eager to start her American racing career in Sunday's $100,000 La Habra Stakes at Santa Anita.

The English import has proven to be "pretty aggressive" in recent workouts, according to trainer Jim Cassidy. He expects Princess Iris to be near the front in the race for 3-year-old fillies at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course.

Owned by the Team Valor partnership, Princess Iris won 2 of 4 starts in Britain last year, including an 11-1 upset in the Group 3 Firth of Clyde Stakes going six furlongs at Ayr last September.

In the La Habra, Princess Iris will be ridden by David Flores, who has been aboard for her recent workouts.

"David has worked her about nine of the

10 times I've worked her," Cassidy said. "He knows she'll be tough. She's pretty professional."

The presence of Macadamia and Voulez Vous, who both have ample speed, may keep Princess Iris from taking an early lead. The La Habra has 11 entrants, including the entry of Foxy Games and Prenuptial.

The field features the Florida invader Pay Wright, who has won two turf stakes on the East Coast; the Del Mar stakes winner Prenuptial; and the two-time winners Seaside Affair and Summer News.

Pay Wright has not started since winning the John Franks Juvenile Filly Turf at Calder last November. Trained by George Weaver, Pay Wright will be ridden by leading rider Garrett Gomez.

Seaside Affair is making her debut on turf. Trained by John Sadler, she was the front-running winner of an optional claimer at a mile on the main track on Jan. 25. Last November, she won a six-furlong race for maidens on Hollywood Park's synthetic track.

Sadler does not foresee Seaside Affair having a problem with the switch to turf.

"I think she's the right type to go on the hill," he said, noting that horses who like the synthetic surface "like the grass."

Trainer Ben Cecil sends out Foxy Games and Prenuptial.

Foxy Games was 12th in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes last November, her first start in the United States. She was later found to have significant mucus in her lungs, Cecil said.

"She was full of mucus for the next three weeks," Cecil said. "She was pretty sick when she ran."

Prenuptial will be trying turf for the first time, attempting to end a four-race losing streak dating back to the Generous Portion Stakes last August.