03/14/2003 12:00AM

Distance issue for 'Lucky Kiss'


PORTLAND, Ore. - "I have absolutely no idea if she will go long," said Nick Lowe, the trainer of Our Lucky Kiss. "But I'm going to find out on Sunday."

Lowe is not alone. All six of the Oregon-bred 3-year-old fillies nominated for Sunday's one mile Mary Goldblatt Stakes are unproven around two turns.

Our Lucky Kiss has done just about everything else Lowe has asked of her at this meeting, however. She earned recognition as the top Oregon-bred juvenile filly for 2002. In her campaign here in the fall, she won the six-furlong Janet Wineberg Stakes and ran second against stakes company in her other three starts. Coming back on Feb. 8 after a two-month freshening, Our Lucky Kiss, a diminutive daughter of Swiss Yodeler, tired after contesting the pace to finish fourth behind the highly regarded Back Street Gal in the open Ms. Stakes at six furlongs.

"I think she needed that race," said Lowe. "She got a lot out of it, though, and she should be ready now.

"Whether she can route is another question," he continued. "Her sire was a sprinter, but her female family has a lot of stamina. She's just a tiny little thing, but she will relax.

"Her ace in the hole may be her speed. I have no doubt she'll be on the lead, and if she can get out there and lull them into a soft pace she'll have a lot better chance of hanging on."

Carlyn Road, who may be Our Lucky Kiss's main rival on Sunday, has similar breeding. She is by a speed sire, Cisco Road, but is out of a very stout female family. Her dam, Ackful, won 11 races and $91,000, and six of her victories came in routes. Ackful's only other starter, Annie N Will, is a full sister to Carlyn Road who went 0 for 5 in routes, but ran third in the Goldblatt and second in the 1 1/16-mile Oregon Oaks.

"I think she'll probably get a mile all right if she gets the right trip, but getting the right trip has been a problem lately," said Carol Duby, her owner, trainer, and breeder.

Carlyn Road upset Our Lucky Kiss by a neck in the Jane Driggers Debutante Stakes in December, but faltered after dueling between horses to finish fifth and last as the 7-10 favorite OTBA Stallion Stakes in January. She redeemed herself with a hard-fought allowance win over Valentine Surprise later that month, but came back to finish a well-beaten sixth under Marijo Terleski in the Ms. Stakes on Feb. 8.

"I didn't have a good view of that race because I ponied her to the gate, but Marijo said she got caught behind a wall of horses and never had a chance to run," said Duby.

Dancinonadare won't go Sunday

The track's popular Marathon Series will continue on Sunday with the 1 1/4-mile second leg of the four-race set, but it will do so without Dancinonadare.

Dancinonadare, who finished a fast-closing third in a division of the 1 1/8-mile leg of the series on Feb. 23, suffered a fractured sesamoid during the running of that race.

"It's not going to require surgery and he may have a future as a show horse, but I'm afraid his racing career is over," said his trainer, Steve Fisher.