09/13/2005 11:00PM

Artie Schiller will pass on start in Atto Mile


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Atto Mile suffered a blow on Wednesday with the news that Artie Schiller would not be making the trip for Sunday's Grade 1, $1 million feature here at Woodbine.

Artie Schiller, based in New York with trainer Jimmy Jerkens, had been targeted for the Atto Mile since winning the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga on Aug. 1. His defection left a probable field of nine for the Atto Mile, which was to be drawn Thursday.

"The horse is fine, but we've decided to stay here and run in the Kelso instead," Jerkens told the Woodbine media department. The Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap will be run Oct. 2 at Belmont. "He's been a little difficult to ship this year for some reason. He hasn't shipped around very well, and I kind of got a little leery of it."

Artie Schiller would have been a solid second choice behind the Bobby Frankel-trained Leroidesani-maux, a winner of his last seven starts. Leroidesanimaux, who will be ridden by John Velazquez, was slated to van up from his Belmont base on Friday.

Also due in Friday is King of Happiness, trained by Neil Drysdale, who will be flown in from California. Patrick Valenzuela has the mount.

A to the Z, who arrived from California last Thursday, and Vanderlin, who checked in from England last month and won the Grade 2 Play the King here Aug. 27, are the other invaders for the Atto Mile.

Todd Kabel has picked up the mount on A to the Z, who is trained and co-owned by Paula Capestro. Martin Dwyer is scheduled to return aboard Vanderlin, who is conditioned by Andrew Balding.

Locally based candidates include Royal Regalia, Mobil, Le Cinquieme Essai, Awesome Action, and Sophia's Prince.

Royal Regalia and Mobil both will be making their second appearances in the Atto Mile, with Royal Regalia having finished third and Mobil fifth here last September.

Mobil, a 5-year-old trained by Mike Keogh, is the top money winner in the field with $1,751,384 and comes into the Atto after winning the Halton, a yearling sales stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf, for the third straight year.

The Canadian Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares, and the Summer, a one-mile turf race for 2-year-olds, are the Grade 2 supporting features here Sunday.

Noble Stella, winner of the Grade 3 Dance Smartly over 1 1/8 miles on turf here July 16, tuned up for the Canadian with a four-furlong breeze in 48.60 seconds on the turf training track here Wednesday.

Noble Stella, owned by Gary Tanaka and trained by Roger Attfield, is coming off a last-place finish in Monmouth's Grade 3 Matchmaker, a 1 1/8-mile turf race on Aug. 7 in which she was compromised by a dawdling pace.