05/13/2007 11:00PM

Curiously Sweet heads diverse allowance field


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – A $51,000 allowance race for California-bred fillies and mares Wednesday at Hollywood Park has drawn eight entrants of all ages.

The field ranges in experience from a 3-year-old filly, Sure Speed, who won her career debut last month to a 5-year-old mare, Lady Truffles, who won a top stakes for statebreds in 2004.

They must beat the promising Curiously Sweet, who finished second in the $200,000 Melair Stakes for 3-year-old statebred fillies here on April 29. The Melair was Curiously Sweet’s stakes debut and was run at 1 1/16 miles, the same distance as Wednesday’s race.

The field includes three 3-year-olds, two 4- and 5-year-olds, and a 6-year-old.

The two 4-year-olds – Lady Le Belle and Tiz a Blend – have run well in recent starts.

Lady Le Belle has been first or second in three starts this year, including two wins in $32,000 claiming races.

Tiz a Blend finished a game second in an allowance race at a mile on turf at Santa Anita last month, her third career start.

The allowance race marks the first start of the year for Lady Truffles, whose only win came in the 2004 California Cup Juvenile Fillies. Owned by Janavar Thoroughbreds, Lady Truffles has made four starts in the last 2 1/2 years. She has not raced since finishing second in an optional claimer at a mile at Del Mar last August.

Wednesday’s race will be Lady Truffles’s first start for trainer Paulo Lobo. She was trained by John Sadler when she won the California Cup Juvenile Fillies and by Craig Dollase when she raced last year.

Lobo said Lady Truffles has been sidelined by “puffy ankles.” Asked if he was concerned about starting Lady Truffles at 1 1/16 miles in her comeback, Lobo said, “A little bit. I would prefer seven furlongs. She’s training very well.”

Holly Torque Tango returns

In the second race, a six-furlong optional claimer for 3-year-old fillies, Holly Torque Tango, second in the Landaluce Stakes here last July, makes her 2007 debut. Trained by Brian Koriner, Holly Torque Tango has not started since the Landaluce.

She will be ridden by Aaron Gryder, who returns from a three-week absence caused by a hairline fracture of a shoulder blade. The injury did not require surgery.

Gryder, who finished fifth in the standings at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting earlier this year, was expected to return to riding Friday but moved the date after he received doctor’s clearance last week.