01/30/2007 12:00AM

Regina Madre tries softer


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A little class relief may go a long way for Regina Madre, one of 10 fillies and mares entered for Thursday's $49,500 allowance feature at Gulfstream Park, to be run at one mile on the turf.

Regina Madre, an English-bred daughter of Cadeaux Genereux, will return to allowance company after closing out her 2006 campaign in three straight stakes races. Trained by John Pregman Jr., Regina Madre finished a strong fourth in the Navajo Princess Stakes at the Meadowlands, broke poorly and was eased when trying dirt for the first time in Calder's Connie Ann Stakes, then ended her year finishing a tiring eighth on the turf in the Lehmi Go at Calder.

"She was doing very well during the fall, so we decided to try her in stakes company and she ran a big race at the Meadowands," said Pregman. "Then we came to Calder and put her on dirt, and that one is just a toss-out. I really expected her to run better in her last start and can't explain what happened that day. She was right there to the stretch and then dropped back."

Thursday's headliner will be run under third-level allowance conditions. The last time Regina Madre faced similar opposition she finished a sharp fourth after setting a contested pace at Keeneland on Oct. 22.

"She had an outside post and got hung wide the whole way," Pregman recalled.

"She just never got the chance to drop in. I thought with an inside post she probably could have won."

Regina Madre has done her best on or near the pace since coming to the U.S. last summer, but Pregman believes she can also be effective if allowed to rate behind the leaders.

"I'd like to see her sit back a couple of length behind the pace," he said. "Like most European horses, as long as she's covered up she should be fine."

Among the other leading contenders is Praia Da Pipa, a rival Regina Madre handled easily when they met at Keeneland in October. Praia Da Pipa came back from that race to finish a troubled second at Calder in her 2006 finale.

Tower of Pisa brings a two-race win streak into the race, her Florida debut. A lightly raced 4-year-old, she has won both from far off the pace and while on the lead.