09/06/2001 12:00AM

'Rosi' has found his niche


As a grand looking yet underachieving import from Europe, Generous Rosi had trainer Niall O'Callaghan looking for ways to fulfill his considerable potential.

Turns out, the answer wasn't that hard to find.

"Took me eight months," a laughing O'Callaghan said earlier this week while preparing Generous Rosi for the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship, a Grade 3 race that will be run Saturday at the Florence, Ky., track.

Generous Rosi, in accordance with his pedigree and background, had tried for years to grind out a living on grass. But after the 6-year-old had started 25 times and earned only about $140,000, O'Callaghan decided to try Generous Rosi on dirt.

On Saturday, when he faces five others in the 1 1/8-mile Fall Championship, Generous Rosi clearly will be the horse to beat.

"He's earned some great numbers on dirt," said O'Callaghan.

After finishing third in his dirt debut at Churchill Downs on June 2, he finished second to the red-hot Fajardo, defeating Outofthebox in the process. After that, Generous Rosi was sensational in winning an Aug. 23 allowance at Arlington Park.

Generous Rosi will be asked to stalk the pace on Saturday, most likely from a very close position, since the Fall Championship is noticeably lacking in speed. Storm Day and Advanced Edition have a touch of early speed, but beyond that, the race is seemingly paceless. That situation could put a couple of capable late-runners, Connected and Jadada, at a disadvantage. Completing the field is Tiltam.

The Turfway Fall Championship has been moved around on the fall stakes schedule in recent years, depending on when the Kentucky Cup series is run. O'Callaghan said he would not wheel back Generous Rosi in the Kentucky Cup centerpiece, the $400,000 Classic on Sept. 22, but is counting instead on his stable star, Guided Tour, for that Grade 2 race.

The Fall Championship is the 10th of 12 races on the first Saturday card of the 22-day fall meet. The secondary feature is a $26,800 allowance for 2-year-old fillies at a mile. First post is 1:10 p.m.

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