05/07/2004 12:00AM

Fury favorites look to Oaks


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Silver Bird and Eye of the Sphynx should both be strongly backed in Sunday's $163,200 Fury Stakes at Woodbine.

The seven-furlong Fury, for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, is an important prep for the June 13 Labatt Woodbine Oaks. In fact, four of the last seven Fury winners went on to capture the nine-furlong Oaks.

Silver Bird, one of the top 2-year-old fillies here in 2003 has lost only once in four dirt starts, finishing second in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes. She got a respectable 83 Beyer Speed Figure for winning the seven-furlong Glorious Song Stakes in November in her final 2-year-old outing.

Trainer Reade Baker sent Silver Bird to Adena Springs South in Florida for the winter, and shipped her back to Woodbine at the end of March, with the Oaks as her main objective. He said she hasn't changed much physically from 2 to 3.

"She's always been a big, strong horse," Baker said. "I think she has less baby fat on her now than she had last year, and she's more muscular. In the last two weeks, she's gotten a lot lighter in the eye, and her coat looks great. She worked great the other day. She's spot-on."

Eye of the Sphynx, a Sam-Son Farm homebred, made her debut at Keeneland on April 22, when she won a seven-furlong maiden special by three lengths and earned an 81 Beyer.

Trainer Mark Frostad said Eye of the Sphynx had to overcome some obstacles before finally making it to the races.

"She had a minor problem at 2," Frostad said. "She was also a little immature, so we packed it in for the year. A few little things happened to her when we brought her back at the Fair Grounds, but we kept on truckin'.

"She missed some time, and we finally got her there at Keeneland," he said. "She ran a good race that day, especially considering the condition of the track - it was deep and sloppy."

Frostad expects another strong showing Sunday from Eye of the Sphynx, who is also eyeing the Oaks.

"She's training well," Frostad said. "It looks like she fits with this bunch. There's only about 16 days between races, so we haven't worked her."

Completing the Fury lineup are My Vintage Port, Lit de Jimmy, Bold Green, Duet, and Megan's Appeal.

Multiple stakes winner My Vintage Port, the champion 2-year-old filly in Canada last year, is coming off a dull effort in a turf stakes at Keeneland.