06/30/2005 12:00AM

Better take 'Fleur' seriously


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - La Belle Fleur rarely gets respect from bettors, but that could change after the Senate Appointee at Hastings on Sunday. The 1 1/8-mile feature for older fillies and mares drew five horses, and none of them has ever won at the distance.

La Belle Fleur, who is trained by Frank Barroby, paid over $60 when she won the Delta Colleen Stakes last year and was a huge overlay at 24-1 in her upset win in the Brighouse Belles June 11. With a lively pace expected in the Senate Appointee, it should set up perfectly for the late-running La Belle Fleur.

Barroby was pleased with her sharp four-furlong work in 47.60 seconds on June 21, and he also likes that her rider, Richard Hamel, has confidence in his mount.

"That was a very good work for her and she's coming up to the race perfectly," Barroby said. "I know a lot of people don't believe in her, but Richard does and he rides her perfectly."

The horse they'll all have to catch is Spirit to Spare. Spirit to Spare set the pace in the Brighouse Belles before tiring to finish second. While she hasn't gone this far before, she does have the best Tomlinson for the distance in the field, 391, and if they leave her alone early, she could be very tough to catch. She's trained by Tom Longstaff and will be ridden by Dave Wilson.

Gold Accent is coming off of a sharp win in the Duchess of York at Stampede Park June 11.