06/08/2004 11:00PM

Hot pace aids Papillon Rouge


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A quick pace may help Papillon Rouge launch her U.S. career with a victory in a turf sprint at Hollywood Park on Friday.

A stakes winner in Chile last fall, Papillon Rouge, 4, faces eight rivals, several of whom are front-runners expected to set quick fractions. If jockey Martin Pedroza can get Papillon Rouge to settle in the first half of the 5 1/2-furlong turf race, she could rally to score her third win in her last four starts.

At the least the distance suits Papillon Rouge, trainer Ron McAnally said.

"This is all she's up to right now," McAnally said. "She's ready to run now, and the race is there."

The $47,000 allowance is the feature race on an eight-race program that begins at 7:05 p.m.

Papillon Rouge and Argentinisima are the only stakes winners in the field. Both won minor races in South America.

won a stakes over about a mile on turf last November, her final start before being acquired by Arnold Zetcher. Sent to McAnally earlier this year, Papillon Rouge has won 2 of 8 starts in her career.

, a winner of 4 of 13 starts, won a stakes over about a mile last July in Argentina.

Both can benefit from a fast pace likely to be set by Mango Escapade, Sashaying Slew, Shebeen, and Victory Girl.

won a turf sprint for $40,000 claimers on May 1 and returned to run a game third in a first-condition allowance race on May 19. Shebeen was second in that race after stalking the pace and then disputing the lead.

Sashaying Slew and Victory Girl are each making their first start on turf. Sashaying Slew won a maiden race over six furlongs on May 16 in her eighth start. Victory Girl has won two consecutive starts - a maiden race for $32,000 claimers at 5 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on April 17 and a starter allowance over six furlongs on May 15. She led or disputed the pace in both races.

A quick pace would also help The Toast of Troy.

Trained by Barry Abrams, The Toast of Troy rallied from fourth despite a troubled trip to win a $40,000 claiming race over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf on May 23. The victory ended a five-race losing streak.

The claiming race was her first start at less than a mile since January. Friday, The Toast of Troy is drawn in post 8, which could be an ideal post for a similar stalking trip.