06/29/2003 11:00PM

Three-peat for Krz Ruckus?


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Krz Ruckus will try to win the seven-furlong Overskate Stakes for the third straight year Wednesday at Woodbine.

Krz Ruckus dueled up front in his customary style to take the last two runnings of the Overskate with determination, and will have to run his "A" race again to beat a strong field. He was sharp in winning his season opener, the five-furlong Briartic Handicap, but then ran a rare clunker in the Grade 3 Vigil Handicap.

"He didn't run any good going seven-eighths in the Vigil," trainer Mike DePaulo said. "I hadn't intended on running him there, and I might not have had him as good as he should have been."

Krz Ruckus got back in the zone most recently, finishing second in the restricted New Providence Stakes, in which he battled on the lead before giving way to Forever Grand.

DePaulo said he was pleased with Krz Ruckus's effort in the six-furlong New Providence.

"Him and Mulligan the Great got rolling pretty good on the front end," DePaulo said. "Forever Grand sat back, made a run, and got everybody."

Dino Luciani retains the mount on Krz Ruckus, who is making his first start with Lasix.

Also entered in the $137,000 Overskate for Ontario-sired runners are Geraint, Vobiscum, Forever Grand, Mister Coop, Mulligan the Great, Scotman, Norfolk Knight, Sophia's Prince, and Steady Ruckus.

Forever Grand, third in the 2002 Queen's Plate, finished fourth in the Vigil in his second start off the sidelines. He earned a Beyer Figure of 92 for the New Providence score, but is coming off a fading third-place finish as the 4-5 favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Steady Growth Stakes.

Trainer Bob Tiller entered Forever Grand in Sunday's Addison Stakes at Fort Erie, but said he scratched him because he wanted to avoid another confrontation with Barbeau Ruckus, who won the Addison Stakes.

"I don't think he would have won that race at Fort Erie," Tiller said. "[Barbeau Ruckus] beat him by seven lengths last time. [Forever Grand's] last sprint race was awesome, and I think he's better going shorter distances."

Mulligan the Great was third in the New Providence, after winning his first start of the season in an optional claimer. He recently finished third behind Soaring Free and Cheap Talk, two of the top sprinters in the country, in the allowance prep for the Nearctic Handicap, which was taken off the grass and run in the slop.

Norfolk Knight is making his fifth start in five weeks and seeks his third consecutive win.