07/16/2007 12:00AM

Legal Move can get even in rivalry

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Legal Move will shoulder 128 pounds while trying to hold off his arch rival, Dancer's Bajan, in Wednesday's $125,000 Deputy Minister Stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds at Woodbine.

Legal Move and Dancer's Bajan have locked horns five times, and the latter has won three of those meetings. Legal Move wound up third in Dancer's Bajan's maiden victory last July, but he defeated Dancer's Bajan while winning his maiden in the Sept. 4 Simcoe Stakes.

Dancer's Bajan captured two Ontario sire stakes in the fall, the seven-furlong Frost King and the 1 1/16-mile Kingarvie, while barely beating Legal Move.

Legal Move underwent knee and ankle surgery over the winter, and won his belated season debut on the grass in the six-furlong Bold Ruckus Stakes. Most recently on the Polytrack in the Achievement Stakes, he held off a charging Dancer's Bajan to prevail by a neck, earning a lifetime-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure.

Trainer Mark Casse said the screws weren't tightened for Legal Move's comeback race.

"I didn't think he was 100 percent fit for the first race back, but he was still able to win," Casse said. "He was fortunate to hold on in the Achievement and beat Dancer's Bajan, who's a tough horse."

Casse believes Legal Move has his work cut out for him going seven furlongs in the Deputy Minister.

"Seven-eighths is going to be tough for him, but we're going to give it a shot," Casse said. "One thing about him, he always tries really hard. I'm going to call him Forego if he wins."

Dancer's Bajan, who gets two pounds from Legal Move in the Deputy Minister, has made four starts this year. Dancer's Bajan closed inside for second April 21 in the six-furlong Woodstock Stakes. Three weeks later, he was third after mounting a five-wide rally in the seven-furlong Queenston Stakes.

Trainer Bob Tiller decided to bypass the June 24 Queen's Plate after Dancer's Bajan finished a nonthreatening sixth in the Plate Trial Stakes. He shortened up from nine to six furlongs in the fast-paced Achievement, and closed wide from eight lengths back to just miss.

"He was unlucky not to win his last race," said Tiller. "I don't think it had anything to do with the cutback in distance. He got a long way back and just ran out of real estate. I thought he ran a huge race. I think seven-eighths should suit him well."

Tiller also entered Spread the News.