12/01/2006 1:00AM

Arch Hall looks back on track


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Arch Hall tries to win the Sir Barton Stakes for the third straight time on Sunday at Woodbine.

Arch Hall captured the 2004 Sir Barton when it was limited to Ontario-sired 3-year-olds. Last year, the 1 1/16-mile contest was opened up to include older runners, and he beat a good group, which included Barbeau Ruckus.

Arch Hall had a productive campaign last winter at Oaklawn before taking the Grade 3 Eclipse Stakes here in May. He tailed off in the summer, but won the Bunty Lawless Stakes in his second start off a layoff Nov. 2.

"He really ran against the [speed] bias in the Bunty Lawless," said trainer Mark Casse. "That was more of the Arch Hall that we're used to seeing. I just don't think that he's a summer horse. He's more of a fall and spring horse.

"Since that race, he's trained like the old Arch Hall. There wasn't really anything bothering him during the summer. His enthusiasm wasn't there, but it's back. He's going to run this weekend, and then he's going to have a rest."

Casse also entered another offspring of Archers Bay in the $125,000 Sir Barton, Schooner Bay, a mare who was recently third in the Classy N' Smart Stakes.

Moonshine Justice, second in the 2005 Sir Barton, was claimed from trainer Dave Cotey by trainer Alex Fehr for $50,000 from a poor outing two starts back. He ran huge first time off the claim, winning a nine-furlong optional claimer over by four lengths with a 92 Beyer.

"Dave Cotey told me exactly where he was going with the horse," said Fehr. "He knew I was going to claim him. The horse ran flat, but he was in great shape. Dave said he had been going easy with him, and I trained him very aggressively. I sent him out looking for the bullet work. The horse is so easy on himself, and I felt that he needed some serious exercise. I wasn't sure if he would run to the way he was training, but he was sharp."

Soul Rebel's only loss in six starts was on the grass. Both of his wins on the Polytrack came in allowance company over 1 1/16 miles.

Millfleet set a moderate pace en route to a third-place finish third in the Bunty Lawless, which was taken off the grass.

Executive Choice, the fourth-place finisher in the 2005 Sir Barton, is coming off a six-furlong allowance score at the Meadowlands.