04/23/2002 11:00PM

Will real gelding please stand up?

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TORONTO, Ontario - A 3-year-old gelding who has been racing as Sir Albadou actually is a horse now known as Barb's Boy, according to an Ontario Racing Commission ruling issued this week.

The ORC launched an investigation into Sir Albadou's identity after a discrepancy was discovered at Turfway Park, where the horse ran three times last winter after starting twice at Woodbine and once at Fort Erie last fall.

"The horse identifier there didn't like the way the horse's markings matched up to his foal certificate," said Nelson Ham, an ORC steward.

A blood test showed that the horse known as Sir Albadou was not the offspring of Sheikh Albadou and Manzanares but in fact an unnamed 3-year-old by Mutakddim out of Artistry in Rhythm. The two horses inadvertently had been switched by Woodbine-based trainer John MacKenzie, who bought them at the local mixed sale and later sold the one erroneously identified as Sir Albadou.

The horse started three times for owner Junior Cruickshank and trainer Samuel Quaranta, winning his maiden at Fort Erie and finishing fifth and sixth at Woodbine. His ownership then was transferred to Quaranta.

The results of those starts now are invalidated, and Barb's Boy will return as a maiden. Cruickshank has been ordered to return purse money of $17,835, earned when the horse raced in his name.

Ham said the "real" Sir Albadou is an unraced gelding named It's Really Me on a farm in Kentucky.