08/03/2001 11:00PM

Schickedanz claim looks strong in sprint


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Tempered Appeal, claimed by owner Bruno Schickedanz for $80,000 from a win July 11, heads a six-horse field in the $50,000 Expedite Plus Stakes Monday at Fort Erie.

Thirteen days after the claim, Tempered Appeal, trained by Abraham Katryan, captured the 6 1/2-furlong $107,000 Bold Venture Handicap at Woodbine.

Woodbine's third-leading rider, Emile Ramsammy, will be aboard the 4-year-old Tempered Appeal.

Last year, the Expedite Plus Stakes was a five-furlong dash on the grass. It was won by Big Virg, who had been claimed by Schickedanz for $5,000 in Florida. This year it goes at six furlongs on the dirt.

Schickedanz believes that Tempered Appeal is one of the three fastest sprinters in Canada. And he also owns the other two. Schickedanz owns, in partnership with John Hillier, the country's 2000 sprint champion, One Way Love. And he is the owner and breeder of Wake at Noon. Last year, Schickedanz ranked third in North America in wins by an owner, with 148 - and that that doesn't include victories by horses he owns in partnerships. In 1999 he was second in wins, with 157.

Schickedanz runners are popular with horseplayers at Fort Erie, and little wonder. In 164 starts here in 1999, his horses won 63 times - a remarkable win rate of 38 percent. Last year, he had 54 wins from 206 starts, a winning percentage of 26. Sixty-three percent of his starters finished in the money.

Schickedanz is so confident his horse will win that he has extended an invitation to fans to join him in the winner's circle after the race. "A lot of people have never been down to get their picture taken," he said. "I welcome them. It's a token to the fan who would like to join what looks like a celebration."

Mike Wright Jr. will saddle Balancethebudget, who will probably offer the strongest opposition to Tempered Appeal.

Rebuffed, once a bottom-level claimer, will draw sentimental support. Trained by Steve Drexler, the

6-year-old Rebuffed on July 8 ran the fastest six furlongs (1:09.20) at Fort Erie since 1993.

Completing the field are Woodbine shipper Doug's Legacy and Starlight Dancer, who is still a maiden.

There's an added incentive for the jockeys in this race. The race sponsor, courier company Expedite Plus, is putting up $15,000 in awards for the riders. The race winner will receive ($9,000) and the rest of the money will be distributed according to finish.

Expedite Plus has provided another $10,000, which is to be divided after a drawing by six fans, who will each be represented by a horse in the race.

"It's my contribution to horse racing," said Expedite Plus owner Victor Deschenes, who owns one of the race's starters. His Golden Returns posted a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure in a Woodbine race in May.