09/14/2005 11:00PM

Conveyor's Angel in soft spot

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - For all her talent, Conveyor's Angel has had her career compromised by health issues and bad luck.

That's why trainer Chris Paasch has her in the $60,000-added Palo Alto Handicap at Bay Meadows on Saturday rather than the Grade 3, $200,000 Pucker Up at Arlington.

"Meaning no disrespect to the other fillies, I was looking for a soft spot," said Paasch, who hopes a confidence-building victory will propel Conveyor's Angel to success back East in her next start.

The filly will likely be a strong favorite in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds, which drew a full field.

"She's a great big filly," Paasch said of Conveyor's Angel. "She always reminded me of a 14-year-old eighth-grader who was 6-foot-4, but now she's growing into herself."

has two stakes wins on turf; all but two of her rivals have fewer than two turf wins. Those two are Key Secret, who had three turf victories in her native Great Britain but is winless in the United States, and also-eligible Ukatabekidding, whose two turf victories include one on a disqualification.

Conveyor's Angel's last victory was in the Golden Poppy at Golden Gate Fields on May 30. Chad Schvaneveldt, who rode her to victory that day, will ride again Saturday.

The favorite's biggest challenge could come from , who makes her turf debut and also tries two turns for the first time.

She will be on the lead, as she comes into the race off a six-length allowance sprint victory that earned her a Beyer Speed Figure of 103.

, who just won her turf debut, and recent turf allowance winner La Balladar could also be factors.

Paasch has reason to feel confident. Conveyor's Angel's ulcers have cleared up, and her foot problems seem to be corrected. She used to be high-strung and needed to be saddled on the fly, but now she can be saddled normally.

As for the luck, the speed in the race should have the field spread out a bit and could lead to a clean trip.

The distance of the Palo Alto should also work in her favor. She finished second by a neck in the one-mile Aladdin Resort and Casino Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 21.

"Turning for home, she had no chance to win, but somehow she only missed by a neck," Paasch said. "She was left with a little too much to do."

That probably won't be the case Saturday.