11/30/2001 1:00AM

Too late to impress voters


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - When the Jockey Club of Canada announces the finalists for this year's Sovereign Awards on Monday, it's a pretty safe bet that Streakin Rob will be on the 2-year-old colt or gelding list.

But first there's the not-so-small matter of Sunday's closing-day co-feature at Woodbine, the Kingarvie Stakes, which falls too late to impact the Sovereign voting but presents Streakin Rob with the prospect of a $78,375 payday and an opportunity to further his education with a hopeful eye toward next year's Queen's Plate.

A field of seven will contest the $130,625 Kingarvie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds.

Streakin Rob, owned by Rob Cudney and Allan Kent and trained by Jim Day, hit the big time when winning the $250,000 Coronation Futurity in his fifth career outing here Oct. 28, coming from off the pace in the 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-breds.

But in his subsequent start, the open 1 1/16-mile Display, Streakin Rob was the pacesetter through some solid fractions and wound up second, beaten three-quarters of a length after being unable to contain a closing Tails of the Crypt.

"He broke sharp, which was fairly predictable," said Day. "He was allowed to have his own way in the first sixteenth of a mile, and by then he was in full stride.

"Once he was on the lead, he had to do the best he could. Unfortunately, he was a sitting duck for the last man standing."

While the Kingarvie comes just two weeks after the Display, Day has no qualms about Streakin Rob's participation.

"He'd love three or four weeks, that would be the perfect thing," said Day. "But in the real world we don't have three or four weeks, and two weeks will do just fine."

Streakin Rob will carry highweight of 124 pounds and break from post 6 under David Clark, who has not ridden the gelding since guiding him to a second-place finish in his Aug. 18 debut.

And while Streakin Rob looms a solid choice, he faces a couple of worthy challengers in Wolverine and Barbeau Ruckus.

Wolverine, a colt owned by his trainer, Reade Baker, in partnership with Derek Cornelius, finished second when debuting at five furlongs here Sept. 29 and then won his maiden at seven furlongs four weeks later.

"That was a meaningful race, considering the way the second horse came back and won, drawing off," said Baker.

Saint Appeal, who finished a head behind Wolverine in their Oct. 27 encounter, was a 5 1/4-length winner of his next start.

Baker believes Wolverine, who will break begin from post 3 under 115 pounds and regular rider Jim McAleney, will be comfortable while stretching out around two turns.

"Hopefully, he can track the speed," he said. "I assume we'll be in the second flight. And the horse is in a good position, in that he doesn't have to be on the outside - he can be anywhere he wants to be. He was tough and determined on the inside last time, all the way."

Barbeau Ruckus, a steady performer for owners Monty Muthulingham and Sue Armata and trainer Ross Armata, ran second in Ontario-sired company in the seven-furlong Frost King here Oct. 10 and then won an entry-level allowance at six furlongs.

Armata has been pointing Barbeau Ruckus to the Kingarvie, which will be his first try around two turns, since that Oct. 21 score. The gelding will break from 4 under 115 pounds and regular rider Dino Luciani.

"The distance is a question mark," acknowledges Armata. "You never know, until you actually see it. But he's such a big horse, with a big stride, and he rates well."

Rounding out the Kingarvie field, in post order, will be Bravely, Luger, Pinedale Star, and Lazer Speed. Bravely, a maiden, is trained by Catherine Day-Phillips, daughter of Jim Day.

Sundar, a promising colt who had been aiming for the Kingarvie, did not make the race. "He started coughing a couple of days ago," said trainer Norm DeSouza.

Attard will be active at Aqueduct

Queensgate followed up his second-place finish here in last year's closing-day Valedictory Handicap with a winter campaign at Aqueduct.

On Sunday, Queensgate will be looking to turn the tables on 2000 Valedictory winner A Fleets Dancer in the closing-day marathon.

And while Queensgate won't be returning to the Big A his trainer, Tino Attard, will be spending his second off-season in New York with some 25 horses owned by Stronach Stable.

Kevin Attard, who trained a contingent of Stronach 2-year-olds based at Adena Springs North this year, will be rejoining his father, Tino, as assistant trainer for the Aqueduct excursion.

"We should be pretty active there right away," said the younger Attard, adding that the first wave of horses would be heading south Monday.

Some familiar names in the Attard entourage are 3-year-old fillies Lite in the Nite, who was trained here this year by Malcolm Pierce and finished fourth when making her first start in seven months here Wednesday, and Foxy Red, third in an entry-level allowance here last time out.

* Stall applications for the 2002 Woodbine meeting, which will begin March 23, must be in by Jan. 25. The sand ring is scheduled to reopen Jan. 28 and the training track Feb. 1.