07/02/2001 12:00AM

Hint: The winner's in Barn 4A


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Wednesday's $105,700 Overskate Stakes could be a two-horse race between two horses who both happen to reside in Barn 4A at Woodbine, Krz Ruckus and Casino Prince.

Krz Ruckus figures to be the controlling speed in the seven-furlong dash with Dino Luciani aboard. Casino Prince should be coming from somewhere off the pace under Na Somsanith.

Serena's Tune, a stakes-winning daughter of Mr. Prospector and champion Serena's Song, should be a short price in the second race on the card, an $80,000 optional claimer on the grass.

Krz Ruckus has notched four consecutive victories dating back to his final 2000 outing, in a first-level allowance. He began his current campaign with back-to-back victories in optional claimers, and is coming off an authoritative 4 3/4-length score in the six-furlong New Providence Stakes.

Trainer Mike DePaulo believes there's still room for improvement for Krz Ruckus, a 4-year-old gelding by Bold Ruckus.

"I don't think we've seen the best of him yet," DePaulo said. "He's still green. He's one of those horses who goes off the bridle when there's nobody around him. He's capable of working (five-eighths) in 58 or 1:02."

DePaulo has no reservations about running Krz Ruckus seven furlongs, a distance he has yet to try on the main track.

"I think seven-eighths is well within his range," DePaulo said. "He's capable of going to the lead and just loafing along, and then picking it up again when somebody comes along."

Casino Prince comes off an impressive 7 1/2-length win May 30 in the 1 1/16-mile Steady Growth, another Ontario sires stakes.

"He's really been training well," said trainer John Cardella. "I knew after he won his last race that I didn't have to run him back for a month, so I had to get a couple of sharp five-eighths of a mile works into him. He worked awfully good on the grass, and then I worked him back on the dirt."

Cardella was concerned that Krz Ruckus might benefit from an easy lead in the race. "Hopefully, there will be one or two horses who can soften him up a little," he said. "My horse is going to come from a stalking position."

Cardella isn't concerned with the turnback in distance. "He was strictly a good seven-eighths horse when he was younger," he said. "I never thought he'd go a route, but I think it might be a little better for him now."