06/02/2001 12:00AM

'Rose' fits route best


VANCOUVER, B.C. - Catahoula Rose looks like a standout in an unrestricted allowance race for 3-year-old fillies at Hastings Park on Sunday. The 1 1/16-mile race drew seven 3-year-old fillies, but only Catahoula Rose has gone farther than 6 1/2 furlongs.

Catahoula Rose's best races have come at 1 1/16 miles. She came within a half-length of winning the Fantasy Stakes last September and then shipped to Turf Paradise, where she finished third in three straight stakes, including the $75,000 Arizona Oaks, also at 1 1/16 miles.

She returned to Hastings Park this spring and finished a close second to odds-on favorite Queen of My Nights in the 6 1/2-furlong Fair Lady Stakes on April 16. She followed that up with a poor effort at

4-5 in an optional claiming race May 5 before easily defeating Inish Glora to win a $50,000 optional race at 1 1/16 miles May 21.

"This should set her up perfectly for the Liberation Stakes [June 17]," said her trainer Jim Brown. "None of the others have gone this far and that should give her a big edge, plus she's training beautifully."

There should be a serious battle for the front end, and Ivy Lane figures to be one of the horses involved. She ran away from a field of $50,000 optional fillies May 16, and being out of a Conquistador Cielo mare should get the distance.

Up to Me won a $50,000 optional race May 5 and then battled head and head with Queen of My Nights for a half-mile before tiring to finish third in the Supernaturel Stakes May 20.