09/12/2003 12:00AM

Fancy Bru heavy chalk in J.W. Sifton


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Fancy Bru will probably never escape the shadow of his illustrious half-brother Fancy As, but on Sunday he will be heavily favored to win the $36,000 J.W. Sifton Stakes for Manitoba-bred 3-year-olds.

Fancy Bru, a gelding by Buie, drops in class to face eight rivals going 1 1/8 miles after finishing second to top 3-year-old Northern Affair in the open Harry Jeffrey Stakes here Aug. 24.

That race was also 1 1/8 miles, and Fancy Bru already manhandled most of Sunday's rivals in the one-mile Manitoba Stakes earlier this year.

Trained by Gary Danelson, who also is a co-owner along with Ed and Jim Pawluk, Fancy Bru finished fourth in the Manitoba Derby two starts ago, which gives him both a class and fitness edge on these. In addition, he has tactical speed, which will make him even tougher to beat.

Leading rider Travis Hightower retains the call.

If there is an upsetter in the race it could be Wild Ruler, who is now trained by Ron Gray for the Kling family.

Wild Ruler posted a huge upset in last year's one-mile Buffalo Stakes, and Sunday's race could set up for his late rally. Jacques DesAutels will ride Wild Ruler for the first time.

Like Fancy Bru, Quick Chill has some speed.

Owned by K-5 Stables and trained by Keith Corbel, Quick Chill was well beaten by Fancy Bru in the Manitoba but has been working very well coming into this race, getting five furlongs in 1:01 on Sept. 3 followed by a quick three furlongs in 34.60 seconds on Wednesday.

Quick Chill also has won and run second around two turns here this year. Juan Crawford, who has won on Quick Chill before, is back in the saddle for Sunday's race.

Tarrango, trained by Jack Robertson for North of 55 Stable, comes into the Sifton off a second-place finish behind the tough Fantom Fury in a conditioned allowance race going seven furlongs.

An improving son of Kiridashi, Tarrango won his maiden two starts ago going a mile against special weight types, and it appears as though he will handle the distance. Regular rider Jason Leacock remains in the irons.

Rounding out the field are Zalema, Canaska's Princess, Lead Hound, Just a Dancer, and Cabernet.