04/04/2008 12:00AM

Ballado Dancer looks tough


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Owner-trainer Marko Mesic endured a heartbreaking loss when Ballado Dancer was overhauled in deep stretch in the Grade 3 Kennedy Road Stakes last Nov. 18. A repeat of that strong showing would probably be good enough to get the job done Sunday at Woodbine in the allowance prep for the April 26 Jacques Cartier Stakes.

Mesic claimed Ballado Dancer for a mere $10,000 last June and then sent him out to capture a $20,000 event two weeks later. After ending up second in a $40,000 claimer, Ballado Dancer wired $50,000 opposition Aug. 26.

Following a two-month absence, Ballado Dancer polished off a fine field of $62,500 optional claimers, which set him up nicely for the Kennedy Road. He set a lively pace in that six-furlong sprint and seemed headed for a comfortable win, but American shipper Connections came with a furious rally in the final furlong to win by a half-length.

Ballado Dancer got a career high 96 Beyer Speed Figure in the Kennedy Road.

"He ran a great race," Mesic recalled. "I thought he was home and cooled out. I don't know where that horse came from."

Ballado Dancer returns from a 4 1/2-month layoff Sunday.

"I took him down to Florida over the winter," Mesic said. "I didn't do much with him. He had a break of about a month, and I started him up around Feb. 3. I breezed him here a couple of times, and he seems to be in pretty good shape. He's really training good."

The 5 1/2-furlong dash also lured Legal Move, Main Executive, Prince Atlantis, Dashing Admiral, and Executive Choice.

Legal Move wasn't a badly-beaten fifth in the Kennedy Road, after taking the allowance prep for that race with a 96 Beyer.

Legal Move spent the winter with trainer Mark Casse at Fair Grounds, where he finished 10th on turf in the Feb. 9 Colonel Power Stakes. The unbeaten winner, Euroears, subsequently won the Duncan F. Kenner Stakes with a 110 Beyer.

Main Executive, perennially among Woodbine's top sprinters, was victorious in 1 of 8 starts last year. He beat Ontario-sired stock in the Aug. 5 Shepperton Stakes, but was a weary ninth in the Kennedy Road.