11/12/2001 1:00AM

Trainer Katryan's playing pair of aces

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Abraham Katryan will be holding a strong hand Wednesday at Woodbine, when he sends out the uncoupled duo of Runaway Love and Tempered Appeal in the featured eighth race.

A field of seven was drawn for the seven-furlong classified allowance, for a purse of $67,200.

Runaway Love won the restricted Deputy Minister Stakes last fall in his first start as a gelding. He has been something of an underachiever this year, winning just once in eight starts. But he was an authoritative winner of his penultimate race, an $80,000 optional claimer.

Most recently, in a tough allowance won by Kimberlite Pipe, Runaway Love stalked a moderate pace and ran fourth, only 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner.

"He's coming off a decent race," Katryan said. "I sent him 1 1/16 miles, but he doesn't really like that distance. I think he's a seven-eighths horse."

Tempered Appeal, an $80,000 claim by owner Bruno Schickedanz July 8, yielded a quick return on investment just 13 days later, when he won the Bold Venture Handicap. He hasn't found the mark in his last five appearances, but is coming off a solid second-place finish behind a hot Praise From Dixie.

Katryan said he wanted to experiment around two turns with Tempered Appeal, but had to settle for Wednesday's race instead.

"I wanted to run him long, but the race didn't fill for him," Katryan said. "Eventually, I'd like to run him long."

Completing the field are Grand End Sweep, Sun Tzu, Geraint, Exclusive Run, and Doug's Legacy.

Doug's Legacy had done most of his best running on or near the lead, heading into his last out in the Bunty Lawless Stakes, in which he rallied wide over good turf to finish only 2 1/2 lengths back in fifth.

Trainer John LeBlanc Jr. had reservations about Doug's Legacy getting the one-mile distance of the Bunty Lawless, and instructed jockey Simon Husbands to drag him well off the early pace.

"We decided to take him back to last and try to make one run," LeBlanc said. "He was a little rank at the beginning, but I think it worked out very well. He made up a lot of ground in the stretch. The horse who finished second was wavering back in forth through the stretch, which made 'Doug' hesitate a few times and break his momentum."

LeBlanc noted that all of Doug's Legacy's wins have come on dirt.

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