05/04/2004 12:00AM

'Legend' looks to prove last race a fluke


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Personal Legend seeks redemption Thursday at Hollywood Park, where bettors must decide if she had a legitimate alibi for finishing unplaced in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap in her most recent start, Feb. 21.

"I don't think she handled the soft turf," said trainer Bobby Frankel.

finished fourth in that race, but drops in class Thursday and will be among the favorites in race 7, a two-other-than allowance at 1 1/16 miles on turf. Six fillies and mares entered the $54,000 allowance, the second of two turf races in which Frankel has a key entrant.

In race 2, a small field of 3-year-old fillies, nonwinners twice other-than, goes one mile on turf for a $54,000 purse. Frankel entered above her conditions - she won her debut with an explosive turn of late speed - and can blame only himself if she misfires. In addition to training Sagitta Ra, Frankel is also her owner and breeder. Sagitta Ra's rivals include dropper Fortunately, stakes winner Church Editor, import Kurlicue, and Shake Off.

The race is designed as a prep for the Grade 2 Honeymoon on June 5, and Frankel was asked why he would enter a second-time starter over her conditions. "You have to run them where you can out here, and if she can duplicate her debut, I might just have a champion on my hands."

Sagitta Ra closed 10 lengths into a 24.63-second final quarter-mile in her debut, and her 22.63 finish carried her to a half-length win at odds of 10-1. Alex Solis takes over Thursday in a situation where conventional class handicapping suggests Sagitta Ra is up against it. A second-time starter, Sagitta Ra is skipping a condition and picking up seven pounds.

With six entrants, race 7 is a slightly more attractive race on which to wager. Personal Legend has placed in graded stakes multiple times, and her most recent start on the Hollywood turf resulted in a nose loss in the Grade 2 Dahlia. Edmund Gann owns Personal Legend, who has won 2 of 11

The class of the field, Personal Legend faces a varied group of rivals. Icy Avenue makes her second start following a layoff. One of two front-runners in the field, Icy Avenue should be more fit, having had a prep race. Tamweel is a one-dimensional front-runner who will help keep the pace honest.

Chasethegold returns to turf after being thwarted on dirt; Honeypenny and Letra de Cambio are the longshots in the field of six.