09/18/2002 11:00PM

A mixture of maidens, off-form runners

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba - The field of seven Manitoba-bred 3-year-olds for Saturday's $35,000 J.W. Sifton Stakes at Assiniboia Downs includes three maidens and leaves much to be desired.

Beau Pip, who was beaten 34 lengths while finishing last in the Harry Jeffery Stakes, should be favored in the 1 1/8-mile Sifton.

Trained by Raymond Liu, Beau Pip's lone win came in the restricted Manitoba Stakes four starts ago but he finished fourth in both the Derby Trial and Manitoba Derby before the Harry Jeffery. Beau Pip will break from post 4 under Juan Crawford.

The K-5 Stable of Phil Kives, which won this race last year with Command Start, will pin its hopes this year on Rare Deputy. In two starts this year, Rare Deputy was a well-beaten ninth in the Manitoba Stakes and finished sixth against older Manitoba-breds in the Agassiz. Trained by Harry Kube, Rare Deputy will begin from post 6 with Jerry Pruitt.

Although winless this year, Portan finished fourth in the Manitoba Stakes and third in the Derby Trial. Portan will break from the outside with Rohan Singh in the irons.

Goin N Style, trained by Linda Paquette, is also winless this year and will start from post 2 with Robert Munoz aboard.

The field rounds out with maidens Minus Three and I Have No Manners, and first-time starter Erin's Dancer.

* Kalfaari, a winner of three stakes here this year, was scratched from last Saturday's R. J. Speers Stakes with a tendon problem and will miss the Gold Breeders' Cup Stakes here closing day, Sept 29.

Sir Pucker ($5.50) recorded his first stakes win in the R.J. Speers. The $18,000 winner's share increased his lifetime earnings to $100,211 while improving his career record to 39-8-6-2. Ridden by Jacques DesAutels, Sir Pucker finished the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.60.

* Wild Ruler ($94), a 2-year-old who was making his first career start, was a shocking winner of Sunday's restricted Buffalo Stakes. Ridden by Robert Munoz, Wild Ruler's victory was the first in a stakes for first-year trainer Guy Kling. The winner completed the mile in 1:46.