04/04/2005 11:00PM

'Reina' has shown versatility

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - It can be a sign of good things to come when a horse has to do something different and still runs a big race.

had that experience in her last race and may be the one to beat when she returns to action against four rivals in Thursday's Bay Meadows feature, a six-furlong, first-level allowance race for 3-year-old fillies.

Trained by A.L. Diaz, Reina Xochilt had shown good speed in her first four starts and was the second choice in her first start against winners, on March 17. She ran second to undefeated favorite Jewels of Bagdad, but the way Reina Xochilt ran was impressive.

She broke slowly from the rail and grew rank down the backstretch as she encountered traffic problems that didn't allow her to flash her normal speed. She was able to move up on the turn and cut Jewels of Bagdad's lead to a half-length at the eighth pole before she tired a bit and fell back.

Reina Xochilt was beaten three lengths in a fast race and was 1 1/2 lengths in front of the third-place finisher.

The trip suggests that she can run from off the pace if she has to, and she has a solid half-mile maintenance drill to keep her sharp.

Reina Xochilt's biggest pace rival Thursday, , who has won two straight and steps up from starter allowance company, is drawn just outside her. Sneaky Jack, who should get a great stalking trip, also figures tough in the lane.