08/31/2002 12:00AM

Can't keep Kid down on the farm


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - It didn't take long for owner-trainer Shauna Ferguson to change her mind regarding the possible retirement of Kid Katabatic.

After the Kid, a 9-year-old gelding, finished last in the B.C. Cup Classic on Aug. 5, Ferguson planned to turn him out for the rest of the year and possibly retire him.

But Kid Katabatic has always had a mind of his own, and when he arrived at the farm of his part owners Mel and Lindsey Russell, he showed his displeasure with the idea of a life of leisure.

"He was just too wild," said Ferguson, "so we decided to train him and see how it went." Ferguson kept Kid Katabatic away from the track and trained him at Canmor Farm.

"He was galloping great out there and he couldn't have worked any better" - five-furlongs in 59.40 seconds - "when we brought him back to the track last Saturday," she said.

Kid Katabatic will have a new rider for the S.W. Randall Plate on Monday. Chris Loseth has ridden him in all four of his races this year but Jose Alferez will be aboard Monday.

"I didn't want to ask Chris to ride him because we won't be running in the Premier's, and American Justice [whom Loseth will ride in the Randall Plate] will. It didn't seem fair to ask him to commit to us. We're not even sure we're running Monday. If it rains, there's a good chance we won't go."

American Justice will be making his third start of the meet in the Randall Plate, and his trainer Rick Kamps was pleased with the progress the 6-year-old gelding has made after missing all of last year with a bowed tendon.

"He's doing great. He couldn't have come out of his last race any better," he said.

American Justice made up 15 lengths to miss by a head to Work Visa in an allowance race Aug. 18 and there should be a good pace for him to chase in Monday's race.

The main goal for American Justice is the $100,000, 1 3/8-mile Premier's on Oct. 20. He won the Premier's in 2000 and will likely be favored to win it again if he holds up.

"He's right on schedule," said Kamps. "We'll run him in the Churchill [Sept. 29] and then the Premier's. That's been our plan all along and so far so good."

One of the horses American Justice will likely face in the Premier's is Lord Nelson, who finished unplaced in the Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs last Sunday.

"He washed out really badly in the paddock and then was all over the pony in post parade," said his trainer Dino Condilenios. "He popped a quarter crack in his foot a week before the race, but it wasn't bothering him."

Condilenios has entered Flying Officer in the Emerald Derby this Monday and he will ship both horses back to Hastings after the derby.

Lady Shari wheels back after two weeks

Canadian Derby winner Lady Shari heads a list of 12 fillies nominated to the $175,000, 1 1/8-mile British Columbia Breeders' Cup Oaks next Saturday. Lady Shari, who is trained by Dave Cotey, beat another filly, Sweet Monarch, by seven lengths in the 1 3/8-mile Canadian Derby at Northlands and will be a solid favorite off that effort. She shipped back to Ontario after the race and will fly out here this week.

"It would be a lot better if there were three weeks between the two races," said Cotey, "but she came out of her race in great shape, so we'll put her on a plane Wednesday."

Sweet Monarch is also nominated.

Trainer Christopher Paasch nominated Ponche De Leona. She won the Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita last October and a July 24 allowance race at Del Mar, but has never gone farther than seven furlongs. Paasch won last year's Oaks with Collect Call and he's nominated her to the $175,000 Breeders' Cup Ballerina on Oct. 6.

Local interests for the Oaks include B.C. Cup Stallion Stakes winner Grace for You and Elana D'amour, who won the Free Vacation Stakes on Aug. 4.