04/04/2002 12:00AM

Fancy As returning to Canada


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Fancy As, the winner of seven stakes in western Canada last year, is slated to join trainer Brian Palaniuk's string at Woodbine.

Owned by his onetime trainer, Red Smith, and his wife, Linda, Fancy As spent the winter in Southern California with Bob Baffert, where he finished third in both the San Fernando and Strub and seventh in the Santa Anita Handicap.

Fancy As is still in California, but Palaniuk, a longtime acquaintance of Red Smith's, said the horse is scheduled to be flown to Lexington Thursday and then van to Woodbine.

Palaniuk, who previously had been based in Winnipeg for the Assiniboia Downs meeting and then came to Woodbine in the fall, made the full-time move to Ontario in 2001. He currently has six horses at the track plus others on farms in Ontario and Florida.