06/12/2002 11:00PM

Silvera has a good one in El Ruller


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - It's been a while since trainer Arthur Silvera has had a 2-year-old with stakes potential.

In 1997, Silvera won the first two juvenile races run at Woodbine, with future stakes winner Lady Beverly and Champman Again, who subsequently finished second in the Victoria Stakes.

Silvera will saddle likely favorite El Ruller in Saturday's renewal of the $134,375 Victoria. The five-furlong dash drew four other 2-year-olds, and will have just three betting interests, with no place or show wagering offered.

In his lone start, El Ruller hugged the rail under Ray Sabourin while pressing the early pace in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special. He drew off in the stretch for a 2 3/4-length score in 51.80 seconds, which earned him a 75 Beyer Figure.

Silvera said El Ruller lived up to his expectations in that May 5 race.

"He ran very professional," Silvera said. "He was rated on the rail, which you don't often see many 2-year-olds do. Ray had a lot of confidence going in. He knew he could put him anywhere he wanted.

"I had him all winter in Florida with me, but he didn't really come around until late February. I began working him on a regular basis here in the middle of March, and he went very good when I got him up to a half-mile."

Also entered in the Victoria were the Mark Casse-trained entry of Reinvigorate and Skeet, and the Mike Doyle-trained entry of J.M. Judge and Biddy's Lad.

Reinvigorate won a five-furlong maiden race by 6 1/4 lengths when he debuted on June 6, earning just a 55 Beyer.

"I was a little concerned that he drew the one-hole then," said Casse. "He's quick, but it takes him a second to get going, and then he finishes well. When he broke running, I thought he'd be very difficult to catch."

Casse said he may not run Reinvigorate in the Victoria.

Skeet finished fourth behind El Ruller after leading through the opening quarter in his lone outing.

"His race was a little disappointing," Casse said. "He was sitting in a perfect position, but didn't finish. He came out of it with a little respiratory problem, which we've been working on."

* Stakes winners Spanish Decree and Miss Noire are among the five 3-year-old fillies in Saturday's supporting feature, the $105,000 Apelia Stakes.

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