10/27/2005 11:00PM

Stakes lures two past victors


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Millfleet and Tusayan will both be looking to relive past glories in the $125,000 Bunty Lawless Stakes on Sunday at Woodbine.

Millfleet won last year's Bunty Lawless, which was run over a mile of yielding turf on Oct. 31. He also won the Deputy Minister Stakes a mere 11 days earlier on the main track.

This year, however, has been a different story for Millfleet, who failed to hit the board in his first seven outings at the meeting. Trainer Hugo Dittfach gave Millfleet a break in the summer, and the gelding has responded with a pair of third-place finishes this fall, including in the Mt. Sassafras Stakes.

"He had a virus inside of him, and we had to clear it out," Dittfach recalled. "It's been a long wait, and I'm just glad that he's finally coming around."

Jill Scharfstein, who rode Millfleet in each of his three victories, has the mount.

Tusayan is surprisingly winless in 17 outings since capturing the 2003 Bunty Lawless over a course labeled good. Second in last year's Bunty Lawless, Tusayan is exiting a runner-up finish in the prep for this race, an open allowance won by Awesome Action.

Perhaps Tusayan's best career effort came last May, when he was awarded a Beyer Speed Figure of 98 for ending up second in the Grade 3 Connaught Cup Stakes.

Trainer Laurie Silvera said Tusayan prefers softer ground and the colder fall weather.

"He does have a liking for a little give in the going, and he doesn't like the hot weather at all," Silvera said. "He loses his form dramatically during the hot weather."

Arch Hall could be the favorite in this Ontario-sire stakes, even though he probably prefers the main track. Trained by Mark Casse, Arch Hall won a $62,500 optional claimer when he launched his 2005 campaign Aug. 20. Most recently, he gave the imposing Mister Coop a run for his money when second in the Overskate Stakes.

Arch Hall has a turf record of 1-1-1 in 6 starts. That victory came in an Ontario-sire maiden special in July of 2004.

Decew Falls toppled Ontario-sired 3-year-olds when he landed the one-mile Vice Regent Stakes over soft ground Aug. 28.

He faded in the stretch after dueling on the lead in the prep.