09/22/2004 11:00PM

Palace Rose likeliest shot to upset odds-on entry


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Palace Rose appears to have the best chance of upsetting the powerful Dave Forster-trained four-horse entry in the British Columbia Breeders' Cup Oaks Saturday at Hastings.

Palace Rose, a daughter of Mecke, comes into the Oaks off of a game win in a $40,000 starter allowance on the turf at Del Mar Aug. 25. And it was the manner in which she won that prompted trainer John Snow to purchase her and ship her to Hastings for the Oaks.

"I really liked the way she battled back when she was passed in the stretch," said Snow. "She really didn't want to get beat, and she had been up close to some pretty quick fractions. She really showed a lot of character. That really drew us to her, and we're thrilled that we could make a deal for her."

Michael Carter, who claimed Palace Rose for $40,000 at Hollywood Park last April, retained a 50 percent interest in the filly.

"The fact that he wanted to keep half of her made us want her even more," said Snow. "Actually, I'm glad he's still involved because he's just a great guy, and he couldn't have been more accommodating to us throughout the whole deal."

Because Palace Rose runs so well on the turf, Snow is planning to send her to Southern California for the winter. If she runs well in the Oaks, she will be brought back against older mares in the $150,000 Ballerina on Oct. 16. Snow is confident that she'll run big Saturday.

"You never know how they'll handle the ship, but she worked super over a muddy track last Sunday," he said. "She came home the final quarter in 24 and 1, and she came back wanting to do more. Her legs are clean, and I just couldn't be happier with the way she's coming into the race. Her trainer in California, Bob Hess Jr., has done a great job with her, and he'll get her again when she goes back down."

Forster's entry, led by Socorro County, is 3-5 on the morning line. Also in the entry are stakes winner Overact, Gold Accent, and Summer Symphony.

Roscoe Pito to face heat early

Snow also will saddle Hastings's 2003 horse of the year, Roscoe Pito, on Saturday. Roscoe Pito runs in the $40,000 Sir Winston Churchill, which goes as the sixth race and drew a field of eight older horses going 1 1/8 miles. The front-running Roscoe Pito could be up against it, though. There is speed aplenty in the race, and he'll likely have a tough time making the lead from his outside post.

One horse who will provide early lick in the Churchill is Five Point Star. A quick 4-year-old gelding, he led or challenged for the lead while winning the last two sprint stakes at the meet. This will be his first try at 1 1/8 miles. He won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race last year, but had things his own way and he didn't have to deal with such horses as Metatron, who figures to be tough leaving from post 1 Saturday.

Five Point Star is trained by Dino Condilenios, who is extremely pleased with the way he's coming into the race.

"He's just getting better and better," Condilenios said. "He's still learning. He reminds me a lot of Lord Nelson. Both horses have tremendous ability, and it took a while for Lord Nelson to get the hang of it. I think Five Point Star is actually figuring it out even sooner. The pace is obviously going to be fast, but I think he can sit just off of it if he has to."

Lord Nelson has been the top handicap horse at Hastings for the past three years, and has earned over $570,000.

Rules of War needs a scratch

A total of 13 horses have been entered for this Sunday's $250,000 B.C. Derby, though only 12 will be allowed to start. Richmond Derby Trial winner Rules of War will need a horse to scratch in order to run. Scratch time for the derby is 8 a.m. Saturday.

Morning-line favorite Gotaghostofachance drew post 7. The Maryland-bred gelding won the Lamplighter Stakes at Monmouth Aug. 28 and the 100 Beyer Speed Figure he earned for the win is easily the best in the field.

Flamethrowinvixen had his five-race win streak stopped when he finished second in the Emerald Downs Breeders' Cup Derby Sept. 6. He appears to have the most speed in the field, and if his sharp work of five furlongs in 59.20 seconds Tuesday is any indication, he'll appreciate the tight turns and short stretch at Hastings.