04/03/2003 12:00AM

Handpainted seen as ready


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Once-beaten Handpainted will meet stablemate Buffalo Jump and unbeaten Hour of Justice in Saturday's $135,000 Star Shoot Stakes, a six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine.

Handpainted, a royally bred daughter of A.P. Indy, was a Sovereign Award finalist for champion 2-year-old filly in 2002 but lost the award to Brusque, who beat Handpainted in the Grade 2 Mazarine Stakes, Handpainted's last race.

Trainer Josie Carroll said Handpainted came out of the Sept. 21 Mazarine with a bad cut on a hind leg.

"She got cut from below her ankle to the hoof," Carroll recalled. "It exposed all the tendons underneath. It took quite a while for it to heal."

Handpainted spent the winter at the Fair Grounds with Carroll, who said she had been unsure of the right time and place for the filly to make her first start of the year.

"Off her last work, we decided she was ready to run," said Carroll, noting that the filly breezed five-eighths in 1:02.20 seconds March 27 at Fair Grounds.

Todd Kabel will ride Handpainted, the Star Shoot's 120-pound highweight.

Buffalo Jump, victorious in the Glorious Song Stakes at 2, faced unbeaten Lady Tak in both of her Fair Grounds stakes starts in January. She was placed second by disqualification there in the Thelma, then finished sixth in the Tiffany Lass.

"She got bumped pretty hard by the horse who was placed third in the Thelma," Carroll said. "In the Tiffany Lass, she got upset in the gate and never ran her race."

Patrick Husbands retains the mount on Buffalo Jump, who is not coupled with Handpainted.

Hour of Justice won both of her 2-year-old starts by open lengths. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 94 in her Nov. 29 allowance victory, and then wintered at Adena Springs South in Florida, according to her trainer, Reade Baker.

"She was off from her last race until Jan. 1, when she started galloping," Baker said. "She has a lot of slow miles underneath her. She hasn't had any dazzling works, but I think she's ready to go.

"The competition is obviously tougher than what she's run with before, but if she can duplicate her last race, it's going to take an awfully nice horse to beat her."

Hour of Justice blew out three-eighths of a mile in 36.80 seconds on Thursday. Jim McAleney has the mount.

Completing the Star Shoot lineup are In the Ghetto, Winter Garden, and Deputy Cures Blues.

for Woodbine entries.

:: Subscribers: to purchase past performances for Woodbine.

:: Non-subscribers: to purchase past performances for Woodbine.