07/06/2003 11:00PM

'Bad Boy,' Iwoodificould square off


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Classy Chris's Bad Boy and consistent Iwoodificould will be well backed in Wednesday's finale, a seven-furlong starter for runners who have competed with a $32,000 tag or less since the beginning of 2002.

Chris's Bad Boy captured the 2000 Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs, using it as his prep to the Super Derby, in which he was unplaced. He spent the majority of his 2002 season at Fort Erie, where he won several starters over varying distances for trainer Lou Capi. He also earned a pair of second-place finishes early at this meeting.

Chris's Bad Boy was claimed from a win for $47,500 on April 19 by trainer Vito Armata, who then spotted him ambitiously in the Grade 3 Eclipse Handicap. Chris's Bad Boy trailed in the 12-horse field after stalking the pace in the 1 1/16-mile Eclipse, but he rebounded in a big way May 31, taking a $62,500 sprint while earning a triple-digit Beyer Figure.

Most recently in the Grade 2 Nearctic Handicap on turf, Chris's Bad Boy pressed favored Soaring Free through fast fractions and ended up sixth. He was beaten only about four lengths by Soaring Free, who appears to have a bright future.

Chris's Bad Boy is getting significant class relief on Wednesday, with the main concern being his poor seven-furlong record. Jono Jones retains the mount.

Iwoodificould has earned a 90-plus Beyer in each of his last seven starts dating back to early December, when he landed a $20,000 claimer at Sam Houston. He was sent here to trainer David Bell early in the spring and won back-to-back starters, going short and long, in May and June.

Iwoodificould is coming off a fourth-place finish going 1 1/16 miles in a $100,000 optional claimer, and he has won each of the last two times he cut back from a route to a sprint.

Also entered in the $46,000 contest are Nana's Boy, Continentalsuccess, Embattle, Square Bob, Right Stop, and Passionforall.

After a slow beginning to his season, Square Bob has really come around in his last three outings, all at the first allowance condition. He finished second while earning a career-high 91 Beyer on May 18, and he has worked a bullet since he won a seven-furlong dash June 22.

Right Stop was a close fifth last time in a minor stakes at Fort Erie. He usually does his optimum running around two turns but has a win in four tries at this distance.

Late-running Embattle has recorded three straight third-place finishes at the second allowance category.