11/12/2004 1:00AM

Country Kat puts hiatus on hold


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Jim Brown considered sending Country Kat home for the winter after her win in the Fantasy Stakes on Oct. 23, but when he saw an allowance race for 2-year-old fillies in the new condition book, he changed his mind. The race filled when six horses were entered Thursday morning, and it will go as the first race.

While Country Kat, who was bred by her owner, Roy J. Jackson, is the lone stakes winner in the race, it's possible she won't be the favorite. Country Cat won her maiden in the 1 1/16-mile Fantasy, and her lack of speed could be problematic with the move back to 6 1/2 furlongs. Her best race at the distance was a fast-closing second to Sugar Pine in her debut.

Honky Tonk Pat looks like the one to beat. A $75,000 purchase by Kim Hart at the 2003 Keeneland September sale, Honky Tonk Pat looked like she might win the Fantasy when she moved to the lead at the top of the stretch. But she hung late and finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Country Kat. The last time Honky Tonk Pat raced at 6 1/2 furlongs, she won a $50,000 claiming race on Sept. 11, and with her tactical speed she should have an advantage over Country Kat.

Cinnamon Brown has won 2 of 3 starts at 6 1/2 furlongs and comes off of a win over $25,000 claimers Oct. 30. But she likes to be in front, and she figures to struggle with the speedy Vic's Sweety, who will break directly inside of her.