10/05/2007 12:00AM

Just Rushing seeks repeat

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Seven-furlong experts Just Rushing and Dancer's Bajan will square off at that distance in Sunday's $75,000 Mt. Sassafras Stakes at Woodbine.

Just Rushing captured last year's Mt. Sassafras - one of his seven 2006 victories - with a 99 Beyer Speed Figure. He has started just five times this year, the first of which was a gutsy score going seven furlongs in the Gradeo3 Vigil Stakes.

Just Rushing blew a clear lead in deep stretch when second to Gangster in his penultimate race in the Bold Venture Stakes. He has been idle since ending up second over soft turf in the Aug. 25 Play the King, a Grade 2 stakes that serves as a prep for the Woodbine Mile.

"We had nowhere else to run him, so we decided to give him a shot there," trainer Sid Attard said. "He didn't like the soft going, but he ran a hell of a race."

Attard wisely bypassed the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile and has been pointing Just Rushing toward Sunday's race.

"It was way too tough," said Attard, who won the 2001 Woodbine Mile with Numerous Times. "I'd rather leave him in his stall than run him there."

Attard is content with the way Just Rushing has been training.

"He's worked four times since he ran the last time," Attard said. "He worked five-eighths in 1:01 and change last Monday. He's dying to run right now."

Dancer's Bajan is one of two 3-year-olds in the field of Ontario-breds, along with Legal Move. He was on the road toward the Queen's Plate in the spring, but trainer Bob Tiller decided to skip the Plate after Dancer's Bajan finished a dull sixth in the Plate Trial Stakes.

Dancer's Bajan defeated Ontario-sired 3-year-olds at seven furlongs in the July 18 Deputy Minister Stakes. He ran two powerful races against older stakes opponents in September, the first of which was a wide-closing runner-up placing in the six-furlong Kenora Stakes.

Dancer's Bajan came up big most recently in the seven-furlong Overskate Stakes. He rallied inside to score by a half-length over front-running Main Executive, and was awarded a career-high 96 Beyer.

Tiller has lots of admiration for Dancer's Bajan, an eye-catching chestnut with four white legs and a white blaze.

"He's run well all year, and there's no reason to believe he won't run well again," Tiller said. "He's only missed one check all year, in the Plate Trial, which is the only time in his career when he's been off the board. He's certainly impressed me with his heart and courage."