09/04/2006 11:00PM

Big-name favorites win the day

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Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Only if Split, ridden by Jono Jones, wins her maiden with a victory in the $126,600 Muskoka.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Class carried the day at the yearling sales stakes extravaganza here Monday as Barbeau Ruckus and Financingavailable both won as expected on the holiday program at Woodbine.

Barbeau Ruckus, an Ontario-sired 7-year-old gelding who was moved into trainer George Newland's barn this year, continued to make the Elgin his personal preserve.

With Todd Kabel aboard, Barbeau Ruckus recorded his third win in the $125,800 Elgin, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for colts and geldings, 3 years old and upward.

"He just did everything perfect, like I expected," said Newland, who trains Barbeau Ruckus for Thavamalar Thayalan. "Todd rode him perfect."

Barbeau Ruckus came into the Elgin off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Seagram at 1 1/16 miles on the inner track, an effort that Newland had said was not a true bill.

"Like I said, last time he blew the turn," said Newland. "But this Polytrack, he loves it, and I love it."

Barbeau Ruckus, whose first five campaigns were with trainer Ross Armata, now has won 11 stakes in his 36-start career and has earned more than $1.1 million.

"We'll look at the Overskate for him," said Newland, referring to the $125,000, seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired runners here Sept. 20. "But, I'd prefer to keep running him two turns."

Financingavailable keeps streak alive

Financingavailable, an Ontario-sired 5-year-old, ran her win streak to three in the $125,800 Algoma, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares.

While it was Financingavailable's first time going around two turns, it was business as usual as the filly led throughout under rider Jim McAleney.

"She's kind of push-button," said Lorne Richards, who trains Financingavailable for K.K. Sangara. "Jim rides her with a lot of confidence. She just runs, and attempts hard. And, she has some ability - that doesn't hurt, either.

Financingavailable originally had been scheduled to bypass the Algoma and await Saturday's Seaway, a Grade 3, $150,000 race for fillies and mares.

"I'm glad I didn't," said Richards. "You don't win races by picking the toughest spots.

"And she's not without her problems, either. She only ran three times last year."

Next up for Financingavailable is the $125,000 Classy n' Smart, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares here Oct. 9.

Financingavailable, a $5,000 yearling purchase by trainer Mark Casse, was purchased privately and now has won eight races, including four stakes for her current connections, to bring her career bankroll to $660,839.

Only if Split wins maiden in style

Sangara and Richards revisited the well-stocked Casse barn this fall and purchased Only if Split, another Ontario-sired filly who had been a $5,000 yearling buy.

Only if Split, a maiden after three starts, delivered a quick return on that investment by winning Monday's $126,600 Muskoka, a 6 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.

"She was still a maiden, but she had a lot of upside," said Richards. "She'd run well enough to look like she'd be competitive with the Ontario-sired horses.

"I know Mark's always willing to sell, especially seeing as he paid a pittance for her. It was good for both of us."

Jono Jones rode Only if Split for the first time. His four winners on the card also included Sheer Enchantment in the $126,200 Halton.

Casse, meanwhile, got his own yearling sales stakes win with Legal Move, who won the 6 1/2-furlong Simcoe for colts and geldings under Patrick Husbands.

Legal Move also was a maiden and was making his fourth career start in the Simcoe.

Sheer Enchantment gives Attard first stakes win

Sheer Enchantment's victory in the Halton was the first stakes win for her trainer, Paul Attard.

A 5-year-old mare owned by the Kelynack Racing Stable of Glenn Harvey, Sheer Enchantment was making her third start for Attard; she came into his barn this summer.

In her previous outing, Sheer Enchantment was a well-beaten second to Financingavailable in the Victoriana, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

Shortly after, Attard discovered that Sheer Enchantment was eligible for the yearling sales stakes.

The nomination deadline had passed, but Attard had the option of supplementing Sheer Enchantment to the yearling sales stakes at a cost of $2,500, including the regular $1,250 entry fee.

Although Sheer Enchantment could have run in the Algoma, Attard preferred to have her face the boys and stick to the turf in the Halton, a one-mile grass race for 3-year-olds and upward.

"I thought she had a shot in there," said Attard. "There was no beating Financingavailable in the other race - she's a monster."

Sheer Enchantment justified Attard's call by becoming a stakes winner in the Halton, in her 28th career start.

"I think the rain helped her; it helped soften the turf up a little bit," said Attard. "It favored closers."

Twisted Wit tops Tiller barn's threesome

Twisted Wit, one of three horses trained by Bob Tiller in the $125,800 Kenora, stole the spotlight by battling to a neck victory over stablemate Dave the Knave, who won the race last year.

Are You Serious, the barn's other starter, finished a flat fifth.

Twisted Wit, a 5-year-old gelding owned by Rolph Davis, was winning his fifth career stakes and now has earned $710,287.

"He always had a lot of natural ability, but he had problems, particularly at the gate," said Tiller.

In his previous start, in the July 30 Seagram, Twisted Wit finished a faltering seventh; it was his only try on the seven-furlong inner track.

"He didn't like that bullring," said Tiller. "He tried to bolt on the first turn.

"But, he's been doing really good the last three weeks. He got a perfect trip, a perfect ride from Jim McAleney, and he got it done this time."

The next logical spot for Twisted Wit would be the $75,000 Mt. Sassafras, an overnight seven-furlong stakes for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds and upward here Oct. 8.

Dave the Knave, being Ontario-sired, is a possibility for the Overskate.

O'Brien makes riding debut

Catherine O'Brien rode in her first race here Monday, finishing sixth aboard Diamond Blues for Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad.

O'Brien, 26, is represented by agent Gary Kemplen and tacks 107 pounds. She had worked for Sam-Son as an exercise rider and is now freelancing while launching her new career.