01/16/2007 1:00AM

Regwell logical, but no lock


NEW ORLEANS - After finishing second in his first two starts of the meet, Regwell is the logical favorite in Thursday's feature race at Fair Grounds, a first-level allowance sprint. A 4-year-old son of Silver Charm, he is trained by Tom Amoss and owned by Maggi Moss, a combination that knows its way to the winner's circle. Moss was the leading owner in North America by wins last year and Amoss won with 27 percent of his 2006 starters and holds a two-win lead in the trainer standings here as this racing week begins.

Moss and Amoss claimed Regwell for $30,000 in November at Churchill Downs and brought him to Louisiana. In his first start for his new connections, Regwell just missed in a dirt sprint at Fair Grounds after setting the pace on a short lead. He returned 10 days ago on the grass, and this time Corey Lanerie rated Regwell off the pace. He held a clear lead in midstretch before finishing second once again, beaten a half-length.

Regwell had never worn front bandages before Amoss claimed him, but he ran with front bandages for both his starts here, and in each race Regwell drifted out late. Even so, he will be tough to beat here.

He Loves Me Not, who finished three lengths behind Regwell in the dirt sprint, could turn the tables this time around.

"I think the track was favoring a speed bias that day," He Loves Me Not's trainer, Dallas Stewart, said Tuesday morning. "My horse ran very hard to rally into third against the track bias. I thought it was a good, honest run on his part."

He Loves Me Not has turned in a bullet half-mile and a solid five-furlong work since that race and should be a little tighter this time.

"He was full of himself this morning," said Stewart. "He was only out for a gallop and he wanted to work."

Apprentice Joe Talamo, who has dominated the Fair Grounds jockey colony this meet, will ride.

Power Jeans is coming out of Regwell's recent turf race, where he weakened late to finish fourth after arguing the pace. He won his maiden on the dirt at Fair Grounds in his previous race, so he shouldn't mind switching back to the main track.

Evacuee, claimed for $20,000 off a victory here as the odds-on choice in December, turned in a poor effort in his first allowance try. Song of the Desert was seventh in Regwell's turf race, but that was his first race since April and he could improve in his second start off the layoff.