12/19/2007 1:00AM

Curiously Sweet looks sharp for handicap

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - Flashy wins by Curiously Sweet in two races last month have left trainer John Sadler willing to make a prediction for her appearance in Friday's $100,000 Cat's Cradle Handicap at Hollywood Park.

"If she runs like we think, she can win," Sadler said.

Judging from Curiously Sweet's recent performances, it would be hard to argue with Sadler, who is on the verge of his first training title at the current meeting.

Curiously Sweet is unbeaten in two starts since returning from a knee injury diagnosed following a second-place finish in the Melair Stakes in April. She won a one-mile optional claimer at the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita on Nov. 1 and came back three weeks later to win a first-condition allowance at 1o1/16 miles by 4 1/2 lengths at Hollywood.

"We thought she was a good horse when we stopped on her," Sadler said.

Curiously Sweet is one of eight statebred fillies and mares entered in the Cat's Cradle.

Sadler said he has no concern about Curiously Sweet cutting back in distance to 7o1/2 furlongs.

"This is a race that plays closer to a mile," Sadler said. "It's not like it's 6 1/2 or seven" furlongs.

Curiously Sweet has finished in the first three in her last five starts. Sadler claimed her for owners Gary and Cecil Barber when she finished fifth in a $40,000 claiming race for maidens at Santa Anita last January in her career debut.

Curiously Sweet is one of five 3-year-old fillies in the Cat's Cradle.

One of the others is Current, who won the CTBA Marian Stakes at Fairplex Park in September and was second in the Pacific Heights at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 1.

Swiss Diva rebounded from two poor performances in stakes in the summer and fall to finish a game second in an optional claimer here on Nov. 30. She is winless in eight starts since the California Breeders' Champion Stakes at Santa Anita last December.

D Pirates Marker won an allowance against open company on Nov. 15, her second consecutive win. She was second in the CTBA Marian Stakes.