02/06/2003 12:00AM

'Gal' faces toughest challenge


Back Street Gal has done everything asked of her, but she faces her toughest test Saturday when she meets six 3-year-old fillies in the $10,000 Ms. Stakes at Portland Meadows in Portland, Ore.

Back Street Gal won her debut in a $12,500 maiden claimer on Nov. 16 for leading trainer Jim Fergason. She came back two weeks later and won the Lassie Stakes in her only other start.

Back Street Gal drew the outside post 7 for the six-furlong race.

Back Street Gal was able to sit off the pace in her first two starts and has enough speed opposing her Saturday to be able to use the same tactics.

If there is a concern, it is that she has worked only twice since her last start, a four-furlong work on Jan. 25 and five-furlong work on Feb. 1.

If Back Street Gal is not at the top of her game, stakes winners Carlyn Road and Our Lucky Kiss could give her a challenge.

Our Lucky Kiss won the Janet Wineberg on Nov. 16, then finished second to Back Street Gal, beaten 5 1/2 lengths in the Lassie. She then lost by a neck to Carlyn Road in the Jane Driggers Debutante Stakes after opening a two-length lead in the stretch. But she has not run since that Dec. 10 race, and, like Back Street Gal, has only two works in the interim.

Carlyn Road has won three straight against fillies since finishing second in her debut on Oct. 27. She finished fifth as the odds-on favorite against males in the OTBA Stallion Stakes on Jan. 4.

Carlyn Road rallied five wide to nip the improving Valentine Surprise in a Jan. 26 allowance race. Valentine Surprise draws the rail here.