12/04/2003 12:00AM

Icicle Angel looks to even score


PORTLAND, Ore. - Icicle Angel and Stately's Choice will head a field of six fillies and mares in Saturday's top offering at Portland Meadows, an open allowance affair at one mile.

Icicle Angel, a 6-year-old with earnings of more than $123,000, won the six-furlong Diane Kem Handicap in her first start at the meeting Oct. 25. She was upset by Stately's Choice in a six-furlong allowance race on Nov. 14, however, and has something to prove Saturday. The mile distance shouldn't deter Icicle Angel, as she proved when she missed by only a neck in her last try at a mile, a $32,000 claiming test at Emerald Downs in July. Trainer Dick Occhiuto has named regular rider Karen Knapp to ride at 119 pounds.

Stately's Choice, an improving 4-year-old from the barn of Ben Root, won four route races at last year's stand, including the Sweetheart and Donna Jensen stakes, both at 1 1/16 miles. She had not been considered a top sprinter until she upset Icicle Angel and others at 7-1 in the recent allowance, which she won by nearly two lengths in 1:13.07.

"I just think she is very sharp right now," Root said. "There is no doubt in my mind that she is still much better around two turns."

Joe Crispin will ride Stately's Choice at 119 pounds.

Another possibility is Run Free, the lone 3-year-old in Saturday's headliner. Run Free, a late-running daughter of Free At Last, came from far back to nose her peers in a six-furlong allowance on Nov. 22 and would seem likely to benefit from more distance. Juan Gutierrez will ride for trainer Nub Norton at 116 pounds.