06/15/2006 12:00AM

Regret: Lady of Venice stands out


Usually a large field in a stakes race is a reflection of a closely matched group, one in which there is not a standout entrant. Saturday's 11-horse Regret Stakes appears an exception.

Lady of Venice, from the powerhouse turf stable of trainer Patrick Biancone, looms a short-priced favorite in the Grade 3, $200,000 Regret after winning her U.S. bow in the Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland on April 23. In the Appalachian, she quickly recovered from a tardy start, and blew away her opponents in the stretch with a powerful turn of foot.

Sitting in third, a length off a six-furlong fraction of 1:12.66, Lady of Venice accelerated to complete a mile on a firm course in 1:35.85. That included a final furlong in an eye-catching 11.63 seconds. Left in her wake was runner-up May Night, who is back for another try against her in the Regret.

Lady of Venice, a 3-year-old daughter of Loup Solitaire, also showed promise in France before coming to America. She won 2 of 3 starts there last year, including once at the Regret's 1 1/8-mile distance. That win earned her a 99 Timeform rating.

Julien Leparoux, who was up for Appalachian, has the mount.

Heading the opposition are the top three finishers from the Edgewood Stakes at Churchill from Kentucky Oaks Day - victorious Magnificent Song, runner-up Fiery Dancer, and third-place May Night.

Of that threesome, Magnificent Song appears likely to attract the most public support, after beating Fiery Dancer by a half-length. After beginning her career 1 for 4, she has gone 2 for 2 since blinkers were added to her equipment. Garrett Gomez rides.

Other prominent entrants include Beau Dare and Red Cherries Spin.