05/02/2006 11:00PM

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk a tough customer

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk ran well against stakes company last year for trainer Sid Attard.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Judging by the company he has been keeping, Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk probably deserves top billing in Friday's Woodbine headliner, a $71,300 allowance with an optional claiming price of $80,000.

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk has proven to be a profitable claim for Tucci Stable and Sid Attard, Woodbine's leading trainer in 2004 and 2005. After they claimed him for $50,000 last July, he captured two optional claimers and ran second in the Kenora and Mt. Sassafras stakes.

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk finished a close fifth in his final 2005 outing, the six-furlong Kennedy Road Stakes. The Kennedy Road runner-up, New York invader Bishop Court Hill, subsequently won the Grade 1 Carter and Paumonok handicaps.

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk was third behind stakes winner Dave the Knave after a wide stalking trip in his debut at the meeting, in a 5 1/2-furlong optional event. He will compete with an $80,000 claiming tag Friday under Dino Luciani, who was aboard for his victory in the 2004 Woodstock Stakes.

Among the others entered in the six-furlong dash are Ablo, Long Pond, Lakeville Rush, and My Lucky Strike.

Ablo captured the second leg of the 2005 Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, but got dusted in two of his next three races, including the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby. He is returning from a seven-month layoff at a distance clearly shorter than he prefers.

Gerry Olguin will ride Ablo for Canadian Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield.

Long Pond prevailed after a lengthy absence in a recent seven-furlong optional claimer, scoring by a half-length as the heavy favorite. Apprentice Emma Wilson inherits the mount on Long Pond from Patrick Husbands, who is scheduled to ride Top Notch Lady for trainer Mark Casse in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks Friday at Churchill.

The versatile Lakeville Rush is making his first start since finishing far back in the Sept. 24 B.C. Derby, a race that two contestants exited to win stakes. Lakeville Rush won a $100,000 claimer going seven furlongs here last August, and handled the grass nicely with a victory over second-level allowance types in June.

Lakeville Rush's trainer, Dave Dwyer, was blanked with his last five extended layoff runners, but he clicked with 24 percent of his first starters at the meeting in 2004-05.

My Lucky Strike, another comebacker, wound up fifth in each of his last two starts, both in the fall going six furlongs at this level. He was a closing second behind next-out stakes winner Ministers Wild Cat in his 2005 opener.