11/06/2002 12:00AM

Underachieving Tails of the Crypt tries again

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stakes winners Tails of the Crypt and Barbeau Ruckus are among the six runners in Friday's $89,000 feature, which is a prep for the Sir Barton Stakes.

Open Concert, Mind Body Soul, Recite, and Malmaison will also compete in the 1 1/16-mile classified allowance for 3-year-olds.

Tails of the Crypt looked like the premier 3-year-old on the grounds in the spring. He captured the Victoria Park Stakes with a breathtaking off-the-pace run after having finished second in both the Marine Stakes here and in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby. He was fourth in both of his July races, which included a turf experiment in the Grade 3 Toronto Cup.

Tails of the Crypt closed steadily to finish second as the 1-2 favorite in an Aug. 27 optional claimer at Fort Erie. He has been out of action since running sixth as the favorite in the Grade 2 B.C. Derby on Sept. 21, an effort trainer John Ross attributed to the horse not handling the tight Hastings Park turns.

Jake Barton retains the mount on Tails of the Crypt, who is donning blinkers for the first time in his career.

Barbeau Ruckus is the only runner in the group eligible to the Nov. 23 Sir Barton, an Ontario sire stakes. He captured the restricted Kingarvie Stakes last December, but is winless this year after having run in some difficult spots, including the Queen's Plate, in which he finished 4 1/2 lengths back in seventh.

Barbeau Ruckus was third behind a sharp Forever Grand and Cool N Collective in the Sept. 2 Elgin Stakes, and is coming off a third-place finish against older optional claimers.

Constant Montpellier, who won two lucrative stakes here last weekend, has the mount on Barbeau Ruckus for trainer Ross Armata.

Open Concert has won three of his last four starts, and is trained by leading trainer Mark Casse. A wet-track specialist, Open Concert is coming off back-to-back scores in the slop, and has the highest recent Beyer Speed Figures in the field.

Malmaison rallied wide to capture a one-mile turf allowance on Oct. 14, which came on the heels of a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Col. R.S. McLaughlin Handicap. He worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 over the training track recently for Roger Attfield, perhaps Woodbine's hottest trainer.

Mind Body Soul hit the board in each of Open Concert's recent triumphs, and Recite benefited from an inside bias when he defeated $50,000 claimers Oct. 18.

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