05/10/2006 11:00PM

Regal Red, Monashee meet in Sun


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The $50,000 Vancouver Sun Handicap drew seven fillies and mares, but it probably boils down to a match race between Regal Red and Monashee. Both have been nothing less than spectacular in their careers. The 6 1/2-furlong feature goes as the seventh race.

A 5-year-old British Columbia-bred, Regal Red has won 7 of her 9 starts, and in most cases she has dominated her opponents. Monashee blossomed last summer, and if you throw out her race against the boys in the Grade 3 B.C. Derby, she has won four straight races. That includes relatively easy wins in the Grade 3 B.C. Breeders' Cup Oaks and the Grade 3 Ballerina Breeders' Cup.

Trained by Robbie Anderson, Regal Red has won 5 of 6 starts at the distance and would appear to have the edge over Monashee sprinting. Nevertheless, she hasn't raced since finishing second to Pretty Meadow in the Cover Girl Stakes Aug. 21.

On the other hand, Monashee closed out her 3-year-old year strongly and has trained sensationally this spring. Monashee is trained by Tracy McCarthy, and according to McCarthy she couldn't be coming into the race any better.

"Regal Red is a very nice horse and I don't know if 6 1/2 furlongs is Monashee's best distance," she said. "But she's training like a bear, so I expect she'll run a big race."

Regal Red will be ridden by Frank Fuentes. Monashee will have Dave Wilson aboard.