07/25/2007 12:00AM

Regal Dream seems up to challenge

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Regal Dream and Princess Alex, who are coming off of easy wins, look like the ones to beat in the featured race at Hastings Friday. The $20,000 claiming race for fillies and mares drew nine horses and goes as the seventh race.

The big difference between the two horses is that Princess Alex has won four races at 1 1/16 miles, the distance of the Friday race, and all three of Regal Dream's wins have come sprinting.

Nonetheless, Regal Dream, who is trained by Barb Heads, figures to get a middle distance. She's a half-sister to Flying Retsina Run, a very good route horse on turf who earned $460,000. He also won five races going long on dirt.

Regal Dream has tried three turns only once, and she finished last in the Emerald Downs Handicap here last year. It's easy to throw the race out as it was just her third start and she was coming off of a win in a maiden special weight race two weeks earlier.

Regal Dream looked very impressive winning a 6 1/2-furlong $15,000 claiming race by four lengths July 14. She will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez.

If they let Princess Alex dictate the terms of the race like she did last out they aren't going to beat her. She romped to a 7 3/4-length win over Country Kat in a $15,000 claiming race going 1 1/16 miles June 30. Trained by Carl Lausten, Princess Alex is a very tough horse to beat when she gets her head in front early, but her chances here may be compromised by the speedy Klinsman's Luck.