01/26/2004 12:00AM

Polygreen should be favored in turf mile


ARCADIA, Calif. - Polygreen deserves to be a strong favorite when she attempts to win her first stakes in nearly two years in Wednesday's $75,000 Tuzla Handicap at Santa Anita.

After finishing second by a nose to Icantgoforthat in the Grade 3 Monrovia Handicap over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course on Dec. 29, stretches out to a mile on turf for the Tuzla.

In France in 2002, Polygreen won a minor stakes over a mile on turf at Saint-Cloud. Last May at Hollywood Park, in her third start for trainer Richard Mandella, Polygreen scored a convincing win in a one-mile optional claimer on turf.

She was taken out of training following a last-place finish in the Royal Heroine Stakes at Hollywood Park in July. The Monrovia was the first start of her comeback.

In the Tuzla, Polygreen has eight rivals and carries joint high weight of 117 pounds with Fun House, one of two starters trained by Ron McAnally. Fun House, 5, finished second to Abbey Bridge in a one-mile allowance race on Jan. 9, leading at the eighth pole but falling short by a half-length.

McAnally's other starter is the longshot Voz de Colegiala, who finished eighth in the Grade 2 Dahlia Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 20.

Other starters are Fudge Fatale and Star Vega, sixth and seventh in the Ramser Handicap in October; Reefs Sis, who was sixth in the Monrovia; and Go on Baby, who was fourth in the La Prevoyante at Calder last month.

Trainer Neil Drysdale starts , who is winless in three starts since winning three straight races last winter - a span that included minor stakes wins in the Blue Norther and Some Sensation stakes at the 2002-03 Santa Anita meeting.

Major Idea has not started since finishing sixth in the Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap last June at Hollywood Park.

Bobby Frankel starts Potra Fabulous, who was a troubled fourth in an allowance race in her U.S. debut on Jan. 9. A Group 1 winner in Argentina last June, she had traffic trouble in the stretch of that one-mile turf race.

"I think she'll run better," Frankel said. "She got stopped, but it didn't cost her the race. It could have been a length. She might have been third."

For some of the runners, the Tuzla Handicap could lead to a start in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap over a mile on turf for fillies and mares on Feb. 21.