05/22/2001 12:00AM

Sunday's stakes roundup (5/20)


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Concerned that an allowance race next week might not fill, trainer Beau Greely entered Sligo Bay in Sunday's $108,600 Cinema Handicap at Hollywood Park to prepare for a summer campaign.

The precautionary move turned into a preemptive strike when Sligo Bay won the Grade 3 Cinema for 3-year-olds under Laffit Pincay, Jr.

Making his first start in the United States, Sligo Bay ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.40. The Cinema was Sligo Bay's first stakes win and first start since finishing third in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud over 1 1/4 miles last October in France.

"I wasn't sure about such a long layoff," Greely said. "He showed today he's a classy horse."

Sligo Bay gave Pincay his sixth win in the Cinema, but first since 1977.

Sligo Bay is owned by Columbine Stable, which purchased him last winter. Based in Ireland last year, he placed in three graded stakes, including a second in the Group 3 Beresford Stakes last October.

Greely said the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 18 is a long-term goal.

- Steve Andersen

Woodbine: Krz Ruckus romps

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Krz Ruckus survived a wicked speed duel with favored Great Defender to win the $128,875 New Providence Stakes at Woodbine.

It was the first stakes score for Krz Ruckus, who broke on top in the six-furlong dash for Ontario-sired runners and fought with Great Defender into a headwind through a quarter of 21.95 seconds.

Krz Ruckus ($5) took a clear lead after a half 45.17 and drew off for a

4 3/4-length tally over a closing Code Name Louie, the longest shot in the six-horse field.

"I didn't want him as close [to the lead] as he was, but he was just dragging me through the bridle," said winning rider Dino Luciani. "I just let him do his thing and figured I should put [Great Defender] away on the turn. He's a big, lazy horse, who's still learning."

- Ron Gierkink

Belmont: Pebo's Guy surprises

Bettors overlooked Pebo's Guy superior record over Belmont Park's turf and allowed him to go off at 11-1 in the $86,625 Kingston Handicap.

Pebo's Guy ($24.80), under Joe Bravo, showed his affinity for the course once again with a 1 1/2-length win over the favorite, John Paul Too. Galactic was a neck back in third in the 12-horse field of New York-breds.

Pebo's Guy stalked the pace in the

1 1/8-mile Kingston, which he won in 1999, before kicking in down the stretch. The final time was 1:48.22 over a firm course.

The Kingston was Pebo's Guy first start since last December when he finished 11th in the Tropical Turf Handicap. The 7-year-old Pebo's Guy now owns a record of 8-4-2 from 18 starts over the Belmont turf.

- Karen M. Johnson

Bay Meadows: Casino King rallies

SAN MATEO, Calif. - Casino King, ridden by Frank Alvarado, ran down the longshot Rhapsodist in deep stretch to win the $65,500 Foster City Handicap by a neck at Bay Meadows.

Rhapsodist caught 3-2 favorite and early pacesetter Lesters Boy near midstretch and opened up slightly, but could not quite hold off Casino King in the final strides, winding up second by a length. Shelter Cove, making his first start since May 1999, came on late to get third by a head over Lesters Boy.

- Dale Omenson

Delaware: Under the Rug wins

Under the Rug took her first step to a berth in the Delaware Handicap by scoring a three-quarter length victory in the $75,000 Nastique Stakes at Delaware Park.

Making her season debut, Under the Rug ($18.60), a 6-year-old mare trained by James Murphy and ridden by Mark Johnston, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.14.

Christiana Stables, the owner of Under the Rug, has won the Delaware Handicap four times - twice with Endine in 1958-59 and twice with Obeah in 1969-70.

- Joe DeVivo

Europe: Observatory by a head

Observatory picked up where he left off last year with a game short head victory over Hightori in the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp.

Supplemented to the Ispahan by Khalid Abdullah after skipping Saturday's Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, Observatory was running for the first time since beating Giant's Causeway in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Sept. 23. Richard Hughes had to pull out all the stops to keep Observatory on top as Dubai World Cup third Hightori came flying at the end. The two are likely to meet again in the 1 1/4-mile Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 20.

Earlier, Maktoum al-Maktoum's filly Nadia held well to defeat Mare Nostrum by a head in the 1 1/4-mile Prix Saint-Alary. Trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias is undecided whether Nadia will go next in the

1 1/2-mile English Oaks or the 1 5/16-mile French Oaks.

Michael Bell celebrated a Group 1 Oaks triumph at San Siro in Milan when his filly Zanzibar took the 1 3/8-mile Oaks d'Italia by seven lengths. Bell must now decide whether to supplement Zanzibar to the English Oaks for $28,600.

- Alan Shuback