01/27/2004 12:00AM

'Reine' like a new horse


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The first foal produced by the mare Miss Snowflake turned out to be Snow Chief, the champion 3-year-old colt of 1986, a multiple Grade 1 winner and an earner of $3.3 million.

It has taken nearly 20 years, but Miss Snowflake may finally have produced another horse worth talking about. Reine des Neiges, a daughter of Smart Strike, has won five of six starts since relocating from Southern California to the East Coast. Saturday, the Philadelphia Park-based mare will attempt to win her first stakes when she runs in the $75,000 Correction Handicap at Aqueduct.

Reine des Neiges began her career in Southern California, but was no match for the likes of Bare Necessities or Affluent. Reine des Neiges became one of 30 horses that trainer Clifford Sise shipped to Philadelphia Park in 2003. Sise chose Philadelphia Park because it was believed that the track would be getting slot machines, something that has yet to materialize.

But, Reine des Neiges turned into the equine version of a hot slot machine, paying off virtually every time she ran. She has won five of six starts at Philadelphia Park, with her lone loss coming in the Steve Van Buren Stakes on Labor Day. That race was run over a sloppy track that many horsemen have said was a terrible surface.

Robert Sise, Clifford's son and assistant, said Reine des Neiges had "really bad ulcers" when she was based in California. "She probably weighed 800 pounds and her coat looked [terrible]. We gave her some Gastrogard," an ulcer medication, "and she's really turned around."

Reine des Neiges was away from the races for almost six months before winning an entry-level allowance race by seven lengths on Aug. 9 at Philly. After the Van Buren, she has reeled off four consecutive victories.

Reine des Neiges has enjoyed most of her success racing on the front end, but Robert Sise says "she prefers to be near the lead, but she doesn't need the lead."

Robert Rosado, who has been her regular rider at Philadelphia Park, will come in for the ride. According Sise, Reine des Neiges worked four furlongs in 47 seconds on Monday at Philadelphia Park.

Reine des Neiges is one of seven horses likely to run in the six-furlong Correction. In order of weight assignment, the field should include Fit Performer (117 pounds), Balmy (116), Cupid Season (116), Elegant Designer (116), Reine des Neiges (115), Literary Light (114), and possibly She's Zealous (113).

Balmy, the Garland of Roses winner, worked four furlongs in 46.13 seconds Sunday at Philadelphia Park.

Wednesday card shifts to Thursday

Due to an impending snowstorm, racing at Aqueduct was canceled on Wednesday, but the card was brought back intact for Thursday. There is a pick-six carryover of $36,082 entering the day.

The feature remains a third-level allowance for colts and geldings at six furlongs. Secret Run and Black Silk, who dead-heated for the win in a second-level allowance race here on Jan. 1, head the seven-horse field.

Secret Run has won three straight races and his last four dirt starts. He was claimed for $40,000 by Frank Laboccetta on Oct. 17 and has posted two straight allowance wins since. Secret Run figures to show speed from the rail, but could face pressure from Trial Prep or Team Player.

Black Silk likes to come from off the pace, so her trainer, Laurie LaFavers, is hoping for a speed duel. Last time out, Black Silk made up a six-length deficit in the stretch to earn the dead heat with Secret Run.

Trial Prep is the wild card in this field. His last two races look bad on paper, including a fifth-place finish in the Alex M. Robb Handicap at 1 1/16 miles in his last start. Prior to that, he was beaten 17 3/4 lengths at this level by Stockholder, who was a 14-length winner that day. Trial Prep won the last time he raced at six furlongs, in a New York-bred entry-level allowance race on March 28, 2002.

McLaughlin winning with firsters

Kiaran McLaughlin doesn't fancy himself as a trainer whose horses are ready to win first time out. It may be time to reconsider that notion.

Recently, McLaughlin has sent out two first-time starters to victory, both for the Stronach Stable. On Jan. 18, Thunder Touch made a promising 3-year-old debut, galloping to a 3 3/4-length victory while running six furlongs in 1:12.27. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 80 and a trip to south Florida, where he most likely will make his next start in allowance company at Gulfstream Park.

On Saturday, McLaughlin won with the 4-year-old firster Saintliness, who, despite racing greenly early, rallied to win a six-furlong race by three-quarters of a length. She ran six furlongs in 1:12.32 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 75.

"Thunder Touch is a very nice colt," McLaughlin said. "In the mornings, he's been slow to break, but Aaron [Gryder] thought he learned something and he thought he would break better on the day. I told him if he breaks well, he can win."

Regarding Saintliness, McLaughlin said the filly has had her share of physical problems but has a lot of ability.

"She was very green and needed the race, and should come forward in her second start like most of my horses do," he said. "I'm not one who wins first time out, but this year might be different."

* Evening Attire, runner-up in both the Queens County and Aqueduct handicaps, worked four furlongs in 51.12 seconds Tuesday over the Belmont Park training track. Trainer Pat Kelly said he is considering nominating Evening Attire to the $150,000 John B. Campbell at Laurel Park on Feb. 14.