06/27/2003 11:00PM

No Comprende will be flying late


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - No Comprende, a convincing winner of the allowance prep for the Dominion Day Handicap, should be running well late in Tuesday's $226,000 Dominion Day, a 1 1/4-mile race at Woodbine.

No Comprende raced mainly on the grass in 2002 for trainer Jim Smith. This year he has raced exclusively on the main track with positive results.

No Comprende spent the winter at Oaklawn Park, where he finished on the edges in two difficult allowance races in March. He returned here in the spring in fit condition, and finished second in both the Eclipse Handicap and its allowance prep.

Smith felt No Comprende's performance in the 1 1/16-mile Eclipse, in which he rallied very wide under regular rider James McKnight, was solid.

"It was a pretty full field, and he was last early, like he usually is," Smith said. "[McKnight] had to take him wide around the [far] turn to avoid any traffic. All things considered, I thought he ran well."

No Comprende closed four wide in the Dominion Day Handicap prep to win by a comfortable four lengths and earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 103.

"He had a bit more pace to run at in his last race," Smith said. "He broke last again, and sat 12 lengths off the pace as they turned down the backside. He started picking it up at the half-mile pole, and went on from there."

Smith said he was pleased with the way No Comprende worked five furlongs over the main track last Tuesday.

"He went in 1:01.40, which is quick for him," Smith said. "Usually, he works in 1:03 or 1:04. He was right on the bridle the whole way, and went the last quarter in 24 [seconds]."

Also entered in the Grade 3 event are Phantom Light, Unbridled Vision, Dance to Destiny, Florida Recount, Dream Launcher, Attest, Malmaison, Changeintheweather, Kiss a Native, and Indy Lead.

Phantom Light captured an April 27 allowance race, and then won the Grade 3 Eclipse on the front end, but is coming off a dull fifth-place finish in the Dominion Day Handicap prep.

Trainer Danny Vella said Phantom Light is a vastly improved runner this year.

"It's been a long time coming for this horse," Vella said. "He had some troubles last year, and it's nice to see him reach his potential. He just needed to mature and settle down. He never got into a true rhythm of running last year, whereas now, he's doing it steady."