06/17/2003 11:00PM

'Mango' riding win streak


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Roberta's Mango risks a three-race winning streak in a $75,000 allowance race for female turf sprinters at Hollywood Park Friday, and trainer Julio Canani is confident she can handle the toughest opposition she has faced.

Canani's opinion stems from Roberta's Mango's results this year - three wins in four starts, all in turf sprints.

"She's doing unbelievably," Canani said. "She just took to the grass and doesn't want to get beat."

Friday's allowance race is restricted to non-winners of a first-place purse of $60,000 this year. It will be run as the seventh race.

The field includes Brisquette, who finished second in the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap at Santa Anita in February; Maria's Mirage, the winner of the minor Woodside Handicap at Bay Meadows April 20; the European imports Madame Boulangere and Swiss Lake; and Carbon Copy and Knoll Lake, who placed in their last starts in turf sprints.

Brisquette is the likely favorite. Brisquette, a 5-year-old trained by Richard Mandella, is making her first start since finishing third in the minor Pine Tree Lane Stakes at Santa Anita in late March.

The ex-Europeans are turf sprint specialists. Swiss Lake won a stakes in England last year and finished fifth in her United States debut on the Santa Anita hillside course Jan. 29. Trained by Kristin Mulhall, Swiss Lake has had a series of fast workouts for her comeback.

Madame Boulangere has yet to start in this country. Trained by Vladimir Cerin, she was stakes placed last year in England at six furlongs.

Knoll Lake, who drew the rail, is expected to lead, along with Maria's Mirage, who drew the outside. Knoll Lake won three stakes races at Turf Paradise earlier this year.

Carbon Copy has not started in 13 months, but trainer Darrell Vienna excels with horses returning from lengthy breaks. The 5-year-old Carbon Copy began her career in England and has made four starts in the U.S., finishing in the top three in all of her races.

Roberta's Mango figures to get a good trip behind the front-runners, tactics that have worked in her last three starts.

Canani realizes she will need an ideal trip to win in a strong field Friday.

"She comes from behind and she's not speed crazy," he said. "She's very sensible. What I like is she has a very big heart."