05/06/2002 11:00PM

Fancy As turned out for summer


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Fancy As, who was slated to make his Woodbine debut in Saturday's Eclipse Handicap, instead will be heading home to Alberta and will be turned out for the summer. Fancy As won seven stakes in western Canada last year.

Sent to trainer Bob Baffert at Santa Anita this winter, Fancy As finished third in both the San Fernando and Strub before running seventh in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. Last month he checked into Woodbine, where he has been trained by Brian Palaniuk.

"He had a little wear and tear from California," said co-owner Red Smith, from his farm near Edmonton, Alberta. "He worked the other day, and Jake Barton said he just switched leads too many times, so he's got little problems. We've got to just forget about him for the summer; we just don't want to take a chance."

Smith does not plan to race Fancy As in western Canada but hopes to try the horse at Woodbine this fall if all goes well.