05/19/2004 11:00PM

Judiths Wild Rush could use a win


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Judiths Wild Rush, who has been a disappointment since he was crowned champion 2-year-old in Canada last year, will try to regroup in Saturday's $164,100 Marine Stakes at Woodbine.

Judiths Wild Rush won his first three starts by a combined total of 17 lengths, including a 10-length triumph in the Nov. 15 Display Stakes. Off that performance, trainer Scott Fairlie decided to send him to Louisiana for the $1 million Delta Jackpot Stakes, but Judiths Wild Rush beat only one rival as the favorite in that Dec. 5 contest at Delta Downs.

"We expected him to run good," Fairlie said, "but he worked too fast going into the race and then had to ship 26 hours, although he did seem to ship well. He wasn't very focused and was scrambling over that [deep] track."

Judiths Wild Rush spent most of the winter at Aqueduct, where he finished sixth following a layoff in the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes on April 10. But as Fairlie points out, the winner of the Bay Shore, Forest Danger, earned a 110 Beyer Speed Figure.

"Basically, he just got out-sprinted and outrun," Fairlie said.

Fairlie says he expects a much better showing from Judiths Wild Rush in the Marine.

"He's unbeaten here," Fairlie said. "He's still a green horse, but he's done well since he got back here. The company will obviously be easier, and he won't be short."

A 1 1/16-mile event for 3-year-olds, the Marine also includes two Canadian-breds prepping for the June 27 Queen's Plate - Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk and Burst of Fire.

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk won his first two starts, including the six-furlong Woodstock Stakes. He suffered his first loss two weeks ago, when he finished third in the seven-furlong Queenston Stakes, an effort which jockey Dino Luciani blamed the sloppy track.

"I don't think he handled the track all that well," said Luciani, who will ride Judiths Wild Rush in the Marine. "He did a lot of slipping and sliding down the backside, but he was stilling running on end."

Luciani predicted that Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk will handle a route of ground. "He's a pretty rateable horse," Luciani said. "I don't see why he wouldn't go long."

Burst of Fire won his maiden first-time out at the Fair Grounds, before placing third in a tough allowance race at Keeneland. He recently won here in a $25,000 optional claimer.