10/07/2003 12:00AM

Appas Tappas has the look of a bouncer

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Form cycle handicappers will be licking their chops at the chance to bet against Appas Tappas, the likely favorite in Thursday's Woodbine feature.

Appas Tappas ran a corker off a five-month layoff in a preliminary allowance Sept. 11, in which he attended the pace in the two path over an outside biased track and finished a close second to next-out allowance winner Sophia's Prince. He received a fat 92 Beyer Speed Figure for that all-out effort, and is certainly a candidate to bounce, or regress, in a similar race on Thursday.

Appas Tappas ended up second to stablemate Soitenly in his April 5 season opener, before throwing craps as the heavy favorite two weeks later.

In November, he flaunted his talent with an impressive seven-length maiden victory in his lone 2-year-old outing.

Patrick Husbands retains the mount on Appas Tappas for Woodbine's leading trainer, Bob Tiller.

Also entered in the six-furlong dash are Cloud Jumper, Potato Lad, Petion Pat, Whiskey Sez, Proximos, Sand Burner, and Lucky at Dawn.

Sand Burner could be the spoiler in his first venture outside the maiden ranks. Trained by Malcolm Pierce, Sand Burner has run hot and cold in his seven career starts, but his form doesn't look so spotty if you ignore his two dismal turf races.

Sand Burner came four wide from just off the pace to graduate in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special Sept. 12, earning an 87 Beyer. Todd Kabel rides for Stronach Stable, a powerful outfit coming off a big week here.

Cloud Jumper received a 91 Beyer when he defeated $40,000 claimers Sept. 13. The runner-up, It Is, came back and wired a tough field of $32,000 opponents. He was claimed that day, and was recently a non-threatening third at this level in his first attempt for trainer Ross Armata.

Whiskey Sez returned from a five-month vacation and finished second as the favorite in a first-level allowance for Ontario-sired stock Sept. 25. He probably needed the race, and might not disgrace himself in this more difficult assignment. Roger Attfield trains.

Proximos has been a disappointment since he won his maiden in a talented field in his seasonal bow. He finished fifth in a seven-furlong allowance last week for trainer Alec Fehr, who since the beginning of 2002 has won with his only runner coming back within a week.

Lucky at Dawn dueled three wide on the lead before weakening over a speed-conducive turf course Aug. 31, and should welcome the move back to the main track.