05/21/2004 11:00PM

'Rose' returns against males


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - One for Rose, last year's champion older filly or mare in Canada, will take on males following a six-month layoff in Monday's $163,350 Eclipse Handicap at Woodbine.

The Eclipse is the feature on Monday's nine-race Victoria Day program.

One for Rose had a breakout 2003 campaign for trainer Sid Attard, winning 6 of 10 starts while banking $476,377. She won the Algoma Stakes by 9 1/2 lengths, and got a whopping 110 Beyer for her scintillating score in the Grade 3 Maple Leaf Stakes. That figure was the highest Beyer earned by a filly or mare at Woodbine last year.

Attard gave One for Rose the winter off after she captured a Nov. 27 allowance with determination. He was pointing her towards the May 30 allowance prep for the Ontario Matron Handicap, but has decided to forgo that race.

"I wanted to wait for the prep, but I'm afraid it's not going to fill," Attard explained.

Attard said he has no qualms with launching One for Rose's campaign at 1 1/16 miles rather than in a sprint.

"I think it will be easier on her," Attard said. "She's going so good right now, touch wood. She's worked seven-eighths in 1:25 twice. She's doing very well."

Rounding out the field for the Grade 3 Eclipse are No Comprende, Mark One, Rock Again, Open Concert, Indy Lead, and Hydrogen.

Late-running No Comprende won his first stakes Nov. 8 in the 1 1/16-mile Woodbine Slots Cup Handicap. He spent the winter at Oaklawn Park, where he ran in two Grade 3 stakes, the Razorback and the Fifth Season.

No Comprende finished sixth in the Razorback, but was just 1 1/4 lengths behind Spanish Empire and Crafty Shaw when third in the Fifth Season.

Trainer James Smith said No Comprende suffered a setback after shipping here in April, which forced the gelding to miss the allowance prep for the Eclipse.

"He twisted his ankle a bit in the first week he was back here," said Smith. "He missed about five days of training, but everything's fine now."

Mark One overhauled front-running Open Concert in deep stretch to take the Eclipse prep, which was run over a sloppy, speed-favoring track.

Mark One was winter-raced at Gulfstream, while mud-loving Open Concert was returning from a five-month layoff in the prep. Trainer Abraham Katryan said Open Concert needed that race.

"He was only 60 to 70 percent fit, and the slop carried him along another 20 percent," Katryan said.

Rock Again, third in the 2003 Queen's Plate, won a May 1 allowance sprint following an 11-month sabbatical.