10/20/2004 11:00PM

Icicle Angel eyes third straight Kem


PORTLAND, Ore. - Icicle Angel will be out to win a third straight renewal of the Diane Kem Handicap on Saturday, when she heads a field of 10 fillies and mares in the six-furlong stakes at Portland Meadows.

Icicle Angel, a 7-year-old daughter of La Saboteur who races for Debra Occhiuto, won the 2002 Kem by 2 1/2 lengths, then repeated last year with a neck victory over Run Free. Icicle Angel, who is now trained by Cathy Crispin, is coming off an Emerald Downs campaign that netted 1 win from 4 starts. The win came against $20,000 claimers going six furlongs on Aug. 19, when she got the distance in 1:10.40.

Among Icicle Angel's most intriguing challengers is Back Street Gal, who is undefeated in eight starts at Portland Meadows. Back Street Gal won all five of her starts here at the 2002-2003 meeting, including four stakes. Last season she went 3 for 3 against allowance and claiming rivals here, but lost five starts at Golden Gate and one at Emerald Downs. She was claimed by trainer Robert Terry out of her last win, against $8,000 company in Feburary of this year, and has not raced since.

The Diane Kem will share Saturday's spotlight with the 350-yard Autumn Handicap for Quarter Horses, which has also drawn a remarkable horse for the Portland Meadows course.

The $6,000-added Autumn Handicap will be headed by In Search of Fame, who has won 25 of his 30 outings here.