07/02/2002 11:00PM

A meeting of champions


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Saturday's Dance Smartly Handicap will be the first clash between Canadian champions Dancethruthedawn and Sweetest Thing.

Dancethruthedawn, the Sovereign Award-winning 3-year-old filly last year, will be making her first start on turf. She is owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad.

The race is named for Dancethruthedawn's illustrious dam.

Sweetest Thing, the Sovereign Award-winning turf filly last year at 3, had also been under consideration for the July 4 New York Handicap.

"It was too hot to ship her," said trainer Roger Attfield, who already been leaning toward running Sweetest Thing here in her debut for new owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson.

Jim McAleney, who was aboard for Sweetest Thing's victories here last year in the Breeders' and Wonder Where, regains the mount. She worked three furlongs in 36.80 seconds on the training track here Wednesday.

Robert Landry, who rode Dancethruthedawn here in her first two career starts back in 2000, including her maiden victory, will be reunited with the filly Saturday.

Adding even more spice to the Dance Smartly mix will be the presence of Mountain Angel, Canada's reigning champion older filly or mare, who will run an entry with Dancethruthedawn.

Sweetest Thing is the 121-pound highweight, conceding one pound to Dancethruthedawn and three pounds to Mountain Angel, who will be ridden by Todd Kabel.

The Dance Smartly, a Grade 3 turf race over 1 1/8 miles, attracted a field of eight and will be worth $165,600. The race goes as the eighth of 10 on the card and will be televised live as part of "Woodbine Post Time on Sportsnet," which will air from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Anglian Prince works

Anglian Prince became the first Queen's Plate contestant to resurface on the work tab when he drilled five furlongs in 1:00.60 on a fast main track here Wednesday. Exercise rider O'Neil Walcott was aboard for the drill, which was the fastest of nine at the distance.

Anglian Prince, owned by Len Prussky and trained by Mort Hardy, is pointing to Fort Erie's July 21 Prince of Wales Stakes, the 1 3/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds that follows the Plate as the second leg in the Canadian Triple Crown.

"He was getting a little bit high on himself," said Hardy, explaining his decision to give Anglian Prince a solid drill. "He's had enough time, and he's fit. I've just got to give him maintenance work from now until the Prince of Wales. He doesn't have to do anything serious."

Mysterious maiden

Hardy plans to be represented here in Sunday's Shady Well by Last Mysterious, a homebred full sister to his multiple stakes-winning mare Mysterious Vice. The Shady Well, worth $150,000, is a 5 1/2-furlong race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies.

Last Mysterious debuted last Sunday, finishing third as the odds-on choice in a five-furlong maiden race.

"She got hit coming out of the gate," said Hardy. "The plan was to go on with her - we wanted to get a race into her, then run her in the stake."

Shane Ellis again gets the call on Last Mysterious.

New shooter for Wales

Attfield also sent a Prince of Wales candidate out for some exercise Wednesday, as Phantom Light, a colt he trains for Stronach Stable, worked four furlongs in 49.60 seconds on the training track.

"If he continues on over the next couple of weeks, he'll probably go to the Prince of Wales," said Attfield.

Phantom Light won his maiden impressively over 1 1/16 miles June 20 in his first outing this year after racing just twice at 2.

"He won well, and he did everything wrong," said Attfield, noting that Phantom Light failed to switch leads at the appropriate stages.

Bad timing

El Ruller, a 2-year-old colt who recorded his second win in as many starts here in the June 15 Victoria Stakes, has been sidelined by shin problems.

"About a week after his win, I was taking off the bandages and noticed a little 'profile' on his shin," said Arthur Silvera, trainer and co-owner of El Ruller.

"He'll be off until September. I'll give him all the time he wants."

Magnifying Silvera's disappointment was that he was on the cusp of selling El Ruller to American interests, but the deal fell through due to the colt's setback.