08/25/2008 11:00PM

King A.J. throws his weight around


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Look out - they're letting the big horse out of the barn again.

King A.J. weighs some 1,200 pounds by trainer Hugh Robertson's estimation, and he is not afraid to throw his bulk around.

"This horse is a monster," said Robertson. "He will run horses over. He'll knock them out of they way, and when he hits them, he hits them hard."

King A.J. will take his fullback methods into a second-level allowance Thursday carded for 6 1/2 furlongs on Arlington Park's Polytrack. An entry-level allowance winner early this meet, King A.J. almost cleared this allowance condition in his first try at it back on June 20. Trapped behind a wall of horses, King A.J. knew what he wanted to do.

"He was going to go through there, and he would've gotten taken down," Robertson said. "[Rene] Douglas had to swing him out and go around."

King A.J. wound up six wide in the stretch that day and was beaten less than a length. July 4, he got into a paceless race against good sprinters Base Commander and Mountain Stag, and closed fast to no avail, finishing third. Aug. 13, King A.J. engaged in another rugby scrum, and this time he and Douglas got disqualified from a near-miss second behind Mountain Stag down to fifth for bumping a horse.

"When they hung up the inquiry I said, 'Maybe we'll get moved up,' " Robertson said. "Then, when I watched the replay I said, 'Maybe we'll get moved way down.' "

King A.J. is good right now, but he lands in a tough spot in Thursday's sixth race. Trainer Steve Hobby has a coupled entry for the race that includes Grand Sensation, who hasn't started since he easily won an entry-level allowance race May 17 in his Polytrack debut. Grand Sensation has worked steadily for this start, and has finished no worse than second in all six of his races, but he landed the potentially difficult post 1 for Thursday's race. There is not a lot of early speed here, and Grand Sensation could easily wind up on the lead, which may not be a good thing: In the three races where he set the early pace, Grand Sensation has been passed in the stretch run.

Also worthy of win consideration is In Nike's Honor, who got shuffled back in the Forward Pass Stakes here on Arlington Million Day, but still rallied to finish second behind Amazing Results.