Barbeau Ruckus Finds Sir Barton Winner's Circle

Winless in eight starts in 2002, Barbeau Ruckus won Saturday's $128,625 Sir Barton Stakes at Woodbine with Constant Montpellier in the irons.

The son of Barbeau closed out his sophomore campaign the way he finished his juvenile season – in the infield winner's circle.

The dark bay was allowed to relax behind horses in the early parts of the 1 1/16-mile contest. As race favorite Mister Coop and Sophia's Prince battled on the lead through quick fractions of :22.96, and :46.60, Montpellier sat patiently, just off the rail. With a little over a half-mile remaining, he asked Barbeau Ruckus for run, and the three-year-old responded with a swift move along the inside. Barbeau Ruckus extended his lead through the stretch to win by 3 ½ lengths over El Habanero. Twice Bid was third.

The final time of the race was 1:44.47 over a main track rated fast. It was the second fastest running time in the 28-year history of the Sir Barton Stakes, behind only Arctic Squall's 1:43 3/5 victory in 1997.

"That's exactly where we wanted to sit today," said Montpellier. "We knew there was going to be some speed. I was in the back and I had so much horse. I had Robert (Landry aboard El Habanero) on the outside, and I didn't think he'd let me out, but it was wide open on the rail so I just turned him loose, and he just galloped from there."

Trained by Ross Armata for owners Thayalan Thavamalar and Jennifer Armata, Barbeau Ruckus raised his career earnings to $328,631.

"We're going to rest him and next year we'll bring him back," said Ross Armata. "He's a nice horse, and hopefully he'll be even better."

Barbeau Ruckus returned $7.20, $3.40, $2.50 combining with El Habanero ($3.70, $2.90) for a $27.00 exacta. Twice Bid ($4.20) completed the $225.60 trifecta.

(Chart, Equibase)