05/12/2004 12:00AM

The Very One: Rivals meet again


Nicole's Dream and Tangier Sound, who were separated by a nose two weeks ago in the Mamzelle Stakes at Churchill Downs, renew their rivalry Friday at Pimlico in the $75,000 The Very One Stakes, for female turf sprinters at five furlongs.

Tangier Sound was an unlucky loser of the Mamzelle, but she has a terrific chance to reverse that outcome. After carrying equal weights in the Mamzelle, Tangier Sound gets a five-pound (119-124) weight break from Nicole's Dream and figures to get a super trip if she can rate as comfortably as she did in her most-recent start.

Tangier Sound used to blast off for the lead, but in the Mamzelle, she settled just behind the early leaders and then closed sharply. With the main speed of The Very One - Nicole's Dream, Desirable Moment, and Icantgoforthat - all lined up next to one another on the outside of the gate, the pace should be furious.

"She settled last time, because that's just the way the race played out," said Jim Ryerson, the trainer of Tangier Sound. "She's been able to rate on a couple of occasions, but for the most part she's had trouble rating. Maybe now that she's older, she's getting better at that."

Nicole's Dream could be the slight favorite because of her stellar record. She has won 12 times in 24 starts. She led from start to finish in the Mamzelle.

Icantgoforthat has competed against the top female sprinters on the West Coast. This group might be softer than what she usually faces.

Boozin Susan was second in the Stravinsky Stakes at Keeneland on April 17.