02/23/2005 1:00AM

Fillies get their surface


ARCADIA, Calif. - After a week of wet weather, turf racing returns to Santa Anita on Friday with a program highlighted by a $65,000 allowance race for fillies and mares over 1 1/8 miles.

The allowance race has the feel of a consolation for two fillies who did not run in Monday's $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap after the one-mile race was moved from turf to dirt because of rain.

Belle Ange and Ask for the Moon finished second and fifth in the Tuzla Handicap on Jan. 27. While they would have been outsiders in the Buena Vista if the race had stayed on turf, they are top contenders in Friday's race, which drew seven entrants.

could give trainer Leonard Powell the first win of his career with his 12th starter. A four-time winner in France, Belle Ange is winless in three starts in this country, including a third in the Grade 3 Dahlia Handicap on dirt on Dec. 20.

In the Tuzla Handicap, Belle Ange was always near the pace. She rallied in the final furlong to finish a head behind Good Student at 10-1. Belle Ange was stakes-placed in France last year.

may be favored in Friday's race. Trained by Laura de Seroux, the 4-year-old Ask for the Moon made her U.S. debut in the Tuzla and had a tough trip. She hopped at the start and rallied five wide in the stretch to finish 2 1/4 lengths behind Good Student.

De Seroux did not hesitate to scratch Ask for the Moon when the Buena Vista came off the turf.

"She's worth the wait," de Seroux said. "She had a bad trip in the Tuzla."

Ask for the Moon has won 5 of 10 starts. She won the Group 3 Prix Penelope at Saint-Cloud last April and the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary over about 1 1/4 miles at Longchamp in Paris last May. In the French Oaks, Ask for the Moon finished seventh of 17 runners. She joined de Seroux's stable last summer.

The race marks the comeback of , the winner of the 2003 Providencia Stakes over this course and distance. Trained by Jim Cassidy, Star Vega has not started since finishing fifth in an allowance race at Del Mar last summer.

Friday's seventh race is a $52,000 allowance race for 3-year-olds over a mile on turf. Littlebitofzip, who has placed in three turf stakes, is a top contender in a field of eight that includes Veiled Speed, who won the Pinjara Stakes here last October.