07/01/2004 11:00PM

Ontheqt is back at her best game


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Returning to her specialty, Ontheqt bears watching in Sunday's $100,000 Daryl Wells Sr. Memorial, a supporting feature to the $250,000 Bison City Stakes.

The six-furlong stakes, which drew a field of six, is for Canadian-bred fillies and mares.

"I did something you're not supposed to do," said Reade Baker, who trains Ontheqt and owns the 3-year-old in partnership with his wife, Janis Maine. "I tried to run her in the Selene. Obviously, she couldn't go that far. It knocked her out."

Ontheqt led to the stretch turn in Woodbine's 1 1/16-mile Selene on May 23, then faded to finish fifth in the six-horse field. The winner was the undefeated Eye of the Sphynx, who will be heavily favored in the Bison City.

Baker, who is strong in the filly department and has three entrants in the Bison City, declared that Ontheqt is his best sprinter.

"She's not a route horse," said Baker, a leading Woodbine trainer. "She could probably beat all the other ones I have sprinting. She worked well the other day, and I expect her to run well Sunday."

Ontheqt won the $182,000 Star Shoot Stakes on April 25 in her only other 2004 outing. She battled head and head throughout the six-furlong race with Nashinda, who would have shared favoritism with Eye of the Sphynx in the $500,000 Labatt Woodbine Oaks had she not suffered an injury before the race.

The Wells Memorial favorite may be Spanish Decree, owner-trainer Frank Huarte's 5-year-old mare, even though she is winless in three starts this year.

Spanish Decree finished second twice this year to multiple stakes winner Winter Garden, earning Beyer Speed Figures of 92 and 91. No other runner in the field has registered a Beyer of 90 or more.

Spanish Decree's last start was on the turf, a surface on which she is winless in eight attempts, and she finished fifth.

Jono Jones, second aboard A Bit O'Gold in the Queen's Plate, takes over the reins from Plate victor Rob Landry, who has assignments at Woodbine.

John Simms will saddle Finnerty's Frolic and Roman Romance, the two runners in the field based here.

"I like both," said Simms. "Hopefully, Finnerty will be the speed horse and Roman Romance will come off the pace a bit. Both have been training real good."

Mike DePaulo will be seeking back-to-back stakes scores at the Fort when he sends out Tamara on Sunday. DePaulo sent out Krz Ruckus to capture Thursday's Canada Day Stakes.

"Tamara ran just so-so in her last start," said DePaulo, referring to her sixth-place finish in Woodbine's Sweet Briar Too Stakes on June 6, "but she's training well. She's stakes placed. Todd Kabel will ride her.

"She ran one really good race this year. She hit the gate leaving and spotted the field four or five lengths. She came running to win. Her next start was the Sweet Briar, and I think she bounced. I expect her to run well Sunday."

Krz Ruckus by nose in Canada Day

Woodbine-based Krz Ruckus kept his Fort Erie record unblemished Thursday, making it 4 for 4 with his nose score in the $96,000 Canada Day Stakes.

Krz Ruckus, ridden by Neil Poznansky, maintained the lead virtually throughout a head-to-head six-furlong battle with 6-5 favorite Barbeau Ruckus.

"[Barbeau Ruckus] did get in front near the finish, by a good head, but my horse came back on," said Poznansky.

It was the 14th win from 34 starts for Krz Ruckus, who has earned $931,475.