08/01/2003 11:00PM

Barbeau Ruckus has the top figures


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Barbeau Ruckus will be seeking his third straight stakes score as he heads a field of five here at Fort Erie in Monday's Cool Reception, the second of two $60,000, 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds and up on the holiday program.

Barbeau Ruckus, a 4-year-old, finished second to the tough Mulligan the Great in a $100,000, seven-furlong optional claimer at Woodbine in his season opener May 3.

He followed that with a victory there in the $128,000 Steady Growth and then shipped here to capture the $75,000 H.J. Addison Jr. on June 29. Both wins were at 1 1/16 miles.

Trained by Ross Armata, Barbeau Ruckus earned Beyer Speed Figures above 90 in all three outings, and none of his opponents here has reached that plateau this season. Right Stop earned a Beyer Figure of 89 at Woodbine in May.

Right Stop, a 5-year-old, experienced troubled trips in his two stakes attempts here this season. In the June 15 Bridgeburg, he was bumped at the break and then was hemmed in along the rail during the stretch run. He finished fifth, beaten less than two lengths.

In his second-place finish in the July 17 Blazing Sevens, Right Stop broke slowly and then was steadied later in the race when he tried to pass between runners.

Owner Mike Barkowski said that Right Stop had to report to the starters for more schooling at the gate. Three sessions were on his agenda.

Barkowski has engaged Russell Woolsey, a leading rider at Thistledown, for the mount.

Woodbine trainer Audre Cappuccitti will saddle Ocean Front for the Cool Reception. He won the Bridgeburg in his last start by coming from far behind. It was his second start of the year.

"Ocean Front enjoyed it down there," said Cappuccitti. "He kicks in late and he just loved the long stretch. It really suits him."

Lil Personalitee, the winner of the Grade 3 Eclipse Handicap at Woodbine last year, will be in the fray. He was claimed from a winning race at Woodbine July 10. Trainer and co-owner Mycke Neubauer ran him back 12 days later here to win an optional claimer, effortlessly.

Neubauer said Lil Personalitee was in "wonderful shape."

Fleet Forum, claimed for $14,000 in June, completes the field.

The other stakes on the program is the Memorial, for fillies and mares. Heading the cast of five is Forty Marinesca, who is shipping in from Mountaineer Park.

Forty Marinesca was second in two stakes at her home track this year, the $77,000 Firecracker Handicap on July 4 and the $78,000 Decoration Handicap on May 26.

Fort Erie's leading trainer, Layne Giliforte, believes he has a strong hand for the race in Native Brick. Owned by John Franks, the 4-year-old filly has won 7 of her 15 races and was fourth to Tuff Chick in the Lauries Dancer here July 19.

Giliforte called Tuff Chick "a nice filly with back class. Had our filly had a better trip, we would have been second to her."