05/03/2005 12:00AM

Queena Corrina drops after winning stakes


The typical course of events has a good horse running in an allowance race and then, if things go well, moving on to a stakes. Queena Corrina is heading the other direction. Having won the Irving Distaff on April 16 in her first start of the season, Queena Corrina switches to a high-end allowance race Thursday at Lone Star, facing only five rivals on a turf course she relishes.

"It's a little unusual," said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Queena Corrina for owner Stan Wilson. "I think they had us written out of the race, but it didn't go, so they wrote it back so we could run."

is a 6-year-old, but she's in the best form of her career, her performance level boosted by a switch to grass racing 10 starts and two years ago. Out of racing action between April 2003 and June of last year, Queena Corrina won twice and finished second by a nose in the $100,000 Bluebonnet last fall at Lone Star, and her 2 1/2-length win in the Irving Distaff probably was the best she's ever run.

"I think that's accurate," Von Hemel said. "That race kind of gives you hope that maybe she can compete in some of the bigger races in the region."

One of those comes up May 30 at Lone Star: the Grade 3, $200,000 WinStar Distaff, where Von Hemel hopes to start Queena Corrina off a solid effort Thursday. And good races are about all Queena Corrina has given in six starts on the Lone Star course, where she has four wins, a second, and a third.

"She's won most of her races right here, so she does like it," said Von Hemel.

Perhaps three others in the Thursday feature - Voz de Colegiala, Janeian, and My Misty Princess - also have designs on the WinStar Distaff, but Queena Corrina has better tactical speed than this trio. She might wind up on the lead and kick clear turning for home, and the short stretch run at Lone Star should carry Queena Corrina to her second straight victory.

The Chilean-bred makes her first start since coming into the barn of Steve Asmussen from Southern California, and probably is taking a class drop Thursday. Janeian had less than an ideal trip when she finished second to Queena Corrina in the Irving Distaff, and could improve this start for trainer Bret Calhoun.