08/20/2007 11:00PM

Just Always back vs. Ontario-sired foes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Just Always should be a formidable opponent in his second start off the sidelines in Thursday's Woodbine headliner, a six-furlong second-level allowance on turf.

Just Always won 2 of 9 starts last year. He is trained by Lorna Perkins, who has a 29 percent strike rate on the grass in her career. Just Always's two wins came on the Polytrack and the inner dirt track, and his lone grass start last year was a third-place finish in a restricted allowance.

Just Always returned from an eight-month layoff in an open six-furlong allowance on the turf July 28. He stalked the pace while four wide on the turn, then opened a clear lead at the eighth pole before being caught on the wire by two rivals.

Just Always goes back to Ontario-sired company on Thursday, with Jerry Baird retaining the mount.

Other contenders include the Malcolm Pierce-trained entry of Bold Comment and Catsimile, along with Backgammon and No Dilettante.

Bold Comment has finished second in each of his last seven outings and an astounding 11 times in 17 starts. His last win was in a first-level Ontario-sired allowance on the Polytrack Sept. 3.

From two grass starts, Bold Comment has a second in allowance company and a third in the 2006 Bold Ruckus Stakes.

Catsimile captured his season opener in a five-furlong allowance on the Polytrack before ending up fifth in the Queenston Stakes. He finished second when debuting on the turf June 13, in the six-furlong Bold Ruckus Stakes, but was seventh in a one-mile allowance on the grass Julyo13.

Patrick Husbands has the mount again on Bold Comment, and Todd Kabel is back aboard Catsimile.

Backgammon is a full-brother to the 2006 Bold Ruckus winner, Tothemoonandback. He was only a half-length behind Catsimile when fifth after going wide in his first turf try in the restricted Bold Ruckus.

Backgammon beat a modest field with a four-wide stalking journey when favored in a first-level Ontario-sired allowance sprint Aug. 6.

No Dilettante led the way before giving way to favored Rahy's Attorney when second in a 1 1/16-mile allowance last Thursday. He finished fifth and sixth the two times he returned to action in a week or less.

Armed and Hammered, Talk About Seattle, Baileysinheritance, and Garzon are all debuting on the grass with little turf breeding.