12/15/2004 12:00AM

Loucamania lands role as favorite


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Paulo Lobo nominated the Brazilian import Loucamania to Monday's Dahlia Handicap, but when he looked at the prospective field earlier this week, he said he probably wouldn't run there and hoped an allowance would go instead.

He got his wish.

An extra race put on for Friday's card attracted Loucamania and five other older fillies and mares eligible for a first-level allowance condition, so Loucamania will not have to go in the Dahlia. Instead, she looms the probable favorite in Friday's second race at Hollywood Park, a one-mile grass race that offers a $39,000 purse.

finished second in a similar race Nov. 20. She encountered traffic trouble at a couple of critical junctures in the race and came up a half-length short of catching Scrofa. This will be her third start since arriving from Brazil, so she has the right to improve.

Loucamania won twice in six starts in her native Brazil and finished second in the Brazilian Oaks.

Two other imports, Danclare and Sketch, are seeking greater glory in the United States.

won once in eight starts in Europe, but her connections obviously had high hopes for her, because she ran in such prestigious races as France's Prix Marcel Boussac and Newmarket's Nell Gwyn Stakes. She has been idle since June and has been working steadily, though unspectacularly, in recent weeks for trainer Paddy Gallagher.

has not raced since June 2003, when she beat a weak maiden field. She has worked well in recent weeks for her new trainer, Tim Yakteen.

Proud Nicole finished second in a $50,000 claiming race in her last start. Her closing charge was compromised by a soft pace, but she has a habit of settling for minor awards. In 25 starts, she has won twice but finished second or third 12 times.

Beaulena was third last time, going 1 1/16 miles in her first try beyond a sprint. She seems a cut below these.

Our Fling is making her first start since May. She is winless in nine starts since arriving from New Zealand, but has been remarkably consistent. In her last eight starts, she has finished either third or fourth, never losing by more than 3 1/2 lengths.