07/08/2004 11:00PM

Invaders tough to beat in Lassie


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Four locally based 2-year-old fillies meet two shippers in Sunday's $40,000 Canterbury Park Lassie Stakes. The Lassie and the $40,000 Canterbury Park Juvenile are co-featured on the 11-race card.

Tuff Justice began her career at Prairie Meadows, where she defeated maidens by daylight in her career debut last month. In her next start, the Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes, Tuff Justice was forced to steady at the break and rallied to finish fourth. Trainer John Betts has named Jason Eads to ride.

Berbatim, the other shipper in the 5 1/2-furlong Lassie, makes the trip up Interstate 94 from Chicago, where she made an impressive debut at Arlington last month. She set all the pace in a maiden-claiming contest and won by five lengths, ridden out. Frank Springer trains Berbatim, a daughter of Bernstein, and brings along apprentice rider James Graham for Berbatim's first try in stakes company.

Trainer Hugh Robertson has entered what might be the strongest local Lassie hopeful in Tuscany Gal, an odds-winner of a maiden race last month. Seth Martinez has the call.

Juvenile: Belmont winner invades

Two New York-bred colts and five other 2-year-olds dispute the $40,000 Canterbury Park Juvenile.

The 5 1/2-furlong contest features recent Belmont maiden winner Still Guilty, who edged statebred foes going five furlongs last month. Trainer Steve Asmussen ships Still Guilty to Canterbury Park for his first try at black type, and has secured locally based Scott Stevens to ride.

Jo Jo Gun was also bred in New York and was sold as an October yearling at Fasig-Tipton. Shipped to Canterbury Park as part of trainer Wilson Brown's string of 2-year-olds, Jo Jo Gun was an impressive winner in his career bow on Memorial Day weekend, winning by five lengths. Leading rider Derek Bell has the return call.

Another impressive maiden winner at this meeting was Smoke Smoke Smoke, who circled opponents and won by 4 1/2 lengths in his career debut two weeks ago. Robertson trains Smoke Smoke Smoke, a son of Smoke Glacken. Martinez will ride.

Trainer Jim Gulick ships in Fast Market, who won his maiden last month at Arlington. James Graham rides.