10/13/2002 11:00PM

Forever Grand should win again


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Addison Stakes on Sept. 24 at Fort Eire was supposed to be a cakewalk for 1-10 favorite Forever Grand, but he gave jockey Todd Kabel a few anxious moments when longshot Le Vainqueur loomed outside of him at the top of the stretch.

"He ran a strong race," Kabel said, "but I feel he could have run a lot better. He was running spotty, and was looking around a lot. He had me worried turning for home, when his head came up and his action changed, but he kicked on strong after I got aggressive with him."

Forever Grand, who won the 1 1/16-mile Addison by five lengths, will likely be the prohibitive favorite again Wednesday, when he cuts back to seven furlongs in the Deputy Minister, an Ontario-sire stakes for 3-year-olds.

Forever Grand displayed powerful sprint form in the spring, capturing three allowance races and earning a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure twice. He went on to participate in the first two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, finishing third in the Queen's Plate and fifth in the Prince of Wales Stakes.

Forever Grand has won both of his starts since a failed turf experiment in the Vice Regent Stakes. He beat a sharp older runner, Cool N Collective, in the restricted Elgin Stakes, but received just an 82 Beyer last time in the Addison.

Bob Tiller trains Forever Grand, who would solidify his status as a Sovereign Award contender for champion 3-year-old with a win on Wednesday.

Also entered in the $131,250 event were Sophia's Prince, Barbeau Ruckus, Mulligan the Great, Mister Coop, Akbar, and Mighty Quinn.

Mighty Quinn, the 126-pound highweight, should be the second choice under jockey Ray Sabourin. He won the Bold Ruckus Stakes over yielding turf in June, and was second to Krz Ruckus the last time he competed on the main track, in the seven-furlong Overskate Stakes on July 3.

"That was a huge effort against older horses in the Overskate," trainer Malcolm Pierce said. "I didn't know at the time whether we made the made the right move going in there, but seven-eighths on the dirt might be his best trip."

Mighty Quinn subsequently took the Vice Regent by a comfortable margin, and is coming off a second-place finish to Steady Ruckus in the Halton Stakes.

Mulligan the Great upset Rare Friends two starts back, in the six-furlong Kenora Stakes, but he flopped while running under the lights most recently in an $80,000 optional claimer.

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