10/09/2003 12:00AM

My Dear Girl won't be walkover


MIAMI - French Village is undefeated and will be seeking to become only the second filly in 22 years to sweep all three legs of the female division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. Yet despite all she has accomplished, French Village may not even be favored when she goes postward against eight other juvenile fillies in Saturday's $400,000 My Dear Girl Stakes at Calder.

Track linemaker Chuck Streva, after much thought, established Chatter Chatter as the slight morning-line favorite for the 1 1/16-mile My Dear Girl.

"This was one of the toughest lines I've ever had to make," Streva said. "It's hard to go against a horse who beat the same field as the 1-5 favorite in her last start. But Chatter Chatter comes off a big-figure win since their last meeting and is probably going to be the wise-guy horse in the wagering. And she gets Jerry Bailey, which in the end will probably make the difference when it comes to the price."

Making the My Dear Girl matchup even more intriguing is that French Village and Chatter Chatter were stablemates in trainer Bill White's barn earlier this year. But after French Village, who is owned by Eugene and Laura Melnyk, quickly established herself as a prime Stallion Stakes contender, owner-breeder John Franks sent Chatter Chatter to trainer Marty Wolfson shortly before the seven-furlong Susan's Girl on Aug. 30.

French Village defeated Chatter Chatter by 1 1/2 lengths in the Susan's Girl, a margin that might have been smaller had Chatter Chatter not lugged in to hamper her rider through midstretch. While the light-bodied French Village has not started since that race, Chatter Chatter returned to humble a field of maiden special weight rivals by 23 lengths, earning a 93 Beyer Speed Figure after covering a mile in 1:40.20. French Village's best number is the 89 she earned in the six-furlong Desert Vixen Stakes.

"I always knew Chatter Chatter was going to be a good horse, especially the further she went, and she'll be tough to beat Saturday," said White, who is on the verge of winning his seventh straight Calder training title. "But my filly has done everything right since we got her and has the pedigree to suggest she wants to go a distance of ground. Chatter Chatter has already proven that she can."

French Village will break from post 1 under Gary Boulanger, while Chatter Chatter and Bailey drew post 5.

The rest of the field is Ride Her Out, Prohibido Olividar, Family Favorite, Potion, Runaway Rizzi, Royal Lace, and Queen Geraldine.