05/31/2004 11:00PM

Tangle returns on grass

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Injury and mishap have interrupted the career of Tangle, who has placed in three stakes in her six-race career.

In April 2003, Tangle finished second in the Appalachian Stakes but emerged with a hairline fracture of a cannon bone that required a lengthy layoff, according to owner Paul Reddam.

In February, Tangle finished third in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes, but she was laid up through late winter and early spring after becoming cast in her stall a few weeks after that race.

Thursday, Tangle returns in a $54,000 allowance race over a mile on turf at Hollywood Park, a race that Reddam and trainer Craig Dollase hope will lead to an upcoming stakes.

"We've been expecting big things," Reddam said. "She wants to go long, but she's never been farther than a mile on turf. She hasn't got past that point."

, 4, has won twice. The mount of Corey Nakatani, Tangle is likely to go favored in Thursday's allowance, which has drawn a field seven.

The other top contenders include Chasethegold and Jolie Rafaela, who finished second in allowance races in their last start; Vadahilla, who won an allowance in her U.S. debut at Santa Anita in April; and Market Garden, making her first start for trainer Jeff Mullins.

is likely to set the pace. Trained by Bobby Frankel, Jolie Rafaela was stakes placed in Brazil last year, and has been second or third in her three starts in this country. In her last start, at Santa Anita on March 11, she finished three-quarters of a length behind Quero Quero, who has returned to place in two graded stakes.

Market Garden could be close to the front early. Claimed for $50,000 on May 21, she is making a quick turnaround for Mullins and new owner Bob Bone. Market Garden is winless in three starts since winning a $40,000 claimer on the hillside turf at Santa Anita in March.

Tangle is likely to stalk the pace. The winner of a maiden race in Ireland in 2002, she won her second race in a one-mile turf race at Santa Anita in January, her start prior to the La Canada.

The La Canada is her only start on dirt. She raced near the lead and finished a neck behind Cat Fighter. In her turf starts, Tangle typically has raced from farther back.

If Jolie Rafaela and Market Garden set a decent pace, that running style could work on Thursday for Tangle and move her closer to another appearance in a stakes.