06/25/2002 11:00PM

Current form or past feats?


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stakes winners Estonia and Hopeful Moment will meet a pair of sharp Scott Fairlie-trained runners, Very Professional and Jab, in Friday's Woodbine feature for $80,000 optional claimers.

Estonia won the Kenora Stakes, a race restricted to graduates of local yearling sales, in September, but hasn't won in six starts since. He exhibited signs of life last time, when a fast-closing second at this level, but earned just a 77 Beyer Figure in the process, and would have to improve again here in order to be competitive.

Trainer Dave Guitard worked Estonia five-eighths in 1:00.40 over the training track last Saturday, which was the fastest of 12 moves at the distance.

Hopeful Moment is also winless since capturing his only stakes, which came last August in the restricted Shepperton, in which he defeated Krz Ruckus and Trailthefox. This year, he finished fourth in a May 5 classified allowance, and was fifth behind Sambuca on Ice and Mysterious Affair in the New Providence Stakes.

Hopeful Moment breezed five furlongs in a bullet 59.40 seconds over the main track last Saturday for trainer John LeBlanc Jr.

Very Professional has finished first or second in all four of his starts this year while banking $72,820. He notched an entry-level allowance in his penultimate outing, and was beaten just a half-length after being checked in deep stretch last time against $62,500 stock.

Florida import Jab, who will compete as a separate betting interest, won two of his three starts here in the spring while displaying a versatile running style. He rallied inside to beat $40,000 opposition on the second day of the meeting, and got a 95 Beyer most recently for his front-running triumph against $50,000 claimers.

Rounding out the field for the six-furlong feature will be Kings Reception, Nikie Your Honor, Lucky Sam, and Deputy Carson.

Atlantic Fury should be a short price in Friday's eighth race, a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance. A beautifully bred daughter of Wild Again, Atlantic Fury beat males when she debuted over soft turf in the Cup and Saucer Stakes in October, and subsequently ran third in the Green River Stakes at Keeneland.

Atlantic Fury was a front-running fourth behind Stylistic and Lush Soldier two starts back in the one-mile Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland. Most recently, she found the pace scenario of the 6 1/2-furlong Alywow Stakes to be more than she could handle, and ended up 10th after stalking the leaders until head of the stretch.

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