08/05/2004 11:00PM

R Little Ruckus well prepared for Nandi


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - R Little Ruckus and Bosskiri, both victorious in their only start, are the only two winners in Sunday's $131,750 Nandi Stakes at Woodbine.

The six-furlong dash for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies is one of two supporting features on the 11-race Breeders' Stakes card, along with the $104,000 With Approval Stakes.

R Little Ruckus, owned and bred by Nancy Guest's GG Racing Stable, was let go at 6-1 in a five-horse field when she debuted in the first 2-year-old race of the meeting on May 8. She dueled on the lead over a sloppy track which favored speed in that 4 1/2-furlong maiden special, and won by a 1 1/2 lengths while earning a 62 Beyer Figure, the highest in the Nandi field.

Trainer Steve Owens, who won the 2003 Nandi with La Grande Mamma, said he was caught off guard by R Little Ruckus' sharp performance.

"She really surprised me," Owens admitted. "I thought she would run second or third. She's a stocky, little thing, but she has the will to win. She's a very game horse."

Owens said he has pointed R Little Ruckus to the Nandi, while bypassing the My Dear and Shady Well Stakes.

"We never sent her home," Owens said. "We kept her here at the track and backed off on her. She got a little fat on me, so I had to start pumping on her a little to help prepare her for this race. We gave her a bunch of five-eighths works, and then gave her a nice half-mile breeze to keep her lungs open. She's doing really well. She's probably a lot better now than she was when she broke her maiden."

Bosskiri captured a 5 1/2-furlong maiden event for Ontario-sired fillies by 3 1/4 lengths July 22, receiving a 59 Beyer. Trainer Reade Baker said she ran a bit green in the race.

"She lugged in a little at the end, and I think she just got a little tired," Baker said. "I came back and worked her three-quarters in 1:14 the other day. She's done extremely well since the race. I think she'll be spot-on."

Baker said Bosskiri, a daughter of Kiridashi, has always had the potential to be a stakes horse.

"She trained well in Florida at OBS over the winter," Baker said. "She worked good right from the start. The typical offspring of Kiridashi are on the narrow side, but she's a thick, powerful filly. I really like her."

Blonde Wisdom could be the third betting choice in the seven-horse Nandi lineup. Trained by Mike Doyle, Blonde Wisdom finished second to Bosskiri in her second start, which came on the heels of a runner-up placing against $32,000 maidens.

* Le Cinquieme Essai, the Sovereign Award winner as champion 3-year-old in 2002, should be favored in the With Approval, a nine-furlong turf race for Canadian-foaled 3-year-olds and up.