07/27/2004 11:00PM

'Enchantment' finds her niche


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Sheer Enchantment will be facing her stiffest test to date when she takes on Eye of the Sphynx and Touchnow in Sunday's $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes at Woodbine.

But Sheer Enchantment, who is owned by Kelynack Racing Stable and trained by Abraham Katryan, has one potentially important credential in her favor.

While Eye of the Sphynx and Touchnow both will be trying a new distance and surface in the Wonder Where, Sheer Enchantment comes into the race off a 6 3/4-length victory over the same 1 1/4 miles of grass she will negotiate Sunday.

That success came in maiden special weight company, and marked Sheer Enchantment's 12th career start, but Katryan believes his filly has found her niche.

"She can go long," said Katryan, who sent out Sheer Enchantment to breeze a very easy five furlongs on a main track labeled good Wednesday. "Not very many 3-year-old fillies can go that far."

Katryan also credits a change in style as a factor in Sheer Enchantment's improvement, as she has come from off the pace during each of her five starts this year.

"I love the way she's run," said Katryan. "We just let her run her race - let her fall out of there, keep her as far back as we could."

Apprentice rider Sunny Singh has ridden Sheer Enchantment in her last two starts, but journeyman Emile Ramsammy, who was aboard for Wednesday's breeze, has regained the mount for the Wonder Where.

Mobil headed to Arlington Million

Mobil, a very game runner-up when beaten a neck by Shoal Water here in last Sunday's $333,300 Chinese Cultural Centre Stakes, is slated to make his next start in the Aug. 14 Arlington Million.

"He ran huge," said Mike Keogh, who trains Mobil for owner-breeder Gustav Schickedanz. "And, he gave the winner five pounds."

The Chinese Cultural Centre is a Grade 2 race over 1 3/8 miles on turf, while the Arlington Million is a Grade 1 over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

Plans for Wando uncertain

Keogh also reports that he still has no definite timetable for Wando, who has been out of training since July 10 after coming back from a workout with mucus in his lungs.

Wando, Canada's reigning Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old, has not raced since June 19, when he emerged from a fourth-place finish here in the King Edward, a 1 1/8-mile turf race, with a high white blood cell count.

Hour of Justice threat in Royal North

Keogh should be seeking his first stakes win for Stronach Stable here Monday. Hour of Justice, a 4-year-old filly, looms as a leading candidate for the $150,000 Royal North.

Hour of Justice, trained last year by Reade Baker, was among a number of Stronach horses transferred to Keogh this year and gave the trainer his first winner for the outfit when she captured the Royal North prep over six furlongs of turf here July 11.

Hour of Justice will carry 118 pounds in the Royal North, a six-furlong turf handicap for fillies and mares.

No Spa trip for My Lordship

My Lordship, who had been under consideration for Monday's Grade 3 Lake George at Saratoga, will not be in the lineup for that $100,000, 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

"I breezed her last Sunday, and she came back full of mucus," said trainer Malcolm Pierce, who has sent out My Lordship to win each of her four career starts for Live Oak Plantation.

"The trip's off," he said. "We can't go there at 80 percent."

Albarino set for Manitoba Derby

Albarino, based here with trainer Sandy McPherson, is at Assiniboia Downs for Monday's $100,000 Manitoba Lotteries Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds.

"He's an improving horse," said McPherson, who sent Albarino west last Wednesday in the care of assistant Bob Appleton.

Owned and bred in Manitoba by his owner, Dr. Ross McKague, Albarino was a 3 1/4-length winner of a 1 1/16-mile maiden special here July 11.

Albarino was making his eighth career start there and stretching out for the first time after running third at six furlongs on July 3.

"I thought his first time around two turns was impressive," said McPherson. "He ran fast, and he kept on running."

Albarino dueled on the far turn with the favored Skipacruise, and was headed before battling back for the daylight victory under jockey Jim McKnight.

"McKnight didn't ask him until the eighth pole, and when he asked him he drew off," said McPherson, adding that Winnipeg-based Jason Leacock will ride Albarino at Assiniboia.

The last two races from Assiniboia, including the Manitoba Derby, will be simulcast by the Woodbine Entertainment Group.

Indy Lead acclimates to Assiniboia

Indy Lead, who has been based here with trainer Roger Attfield, is scheduled to compete in Monday's $40,000 Wheat City, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward that will be one of the supporting features on the Assiniboia program.

"I sent him out there a couple of weeks ago," said Attfield, who trains Indy Lead for Charles Fipke. "We'll see if he can win a stake in western Canada, and maybe stand him at stud there. He has a tremendous pedigree."

Indy Lead, a Kentucky-bred 6-year-old horse by A.P. Indy out of the Sovereign Dancer mare Court Hostess, has won 3 of 28 starts and $205,343 but has yet to finish in the money in stakes competition.