Updated on 09/16/2011 9:29AM

Pay heed to American Justice


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - American Justice hasn't won a race this year, but he shouldn't be taken lightly when he runs in the $100,000 Premier's Stakes at Hastings on Sunday.

He's perfectly suited for the 11-furlong distance and the last time he ran in the Premier's he won as the 7-2 favorite in 2000. He also finished a fast-closing second in the Premier's as a 3-year-old in 1999.

American Justice missed all of 2001 with a bowed tendon but, according to his trainer Rick Kamps, he's at 100 percent right now and, if the front-runners set a reasonable pace, American Justice will have a good chance Sunday.

"It's a bit disappointing that he hasn't won this year, but he wasn't going to catch them in the Churchill when they went the first half in almost 49 seconds," Kamps said. "It's not quite as important going a mile and three-eighths, but it certainly won't hurt if the pace is a little quicker."

Although American Justice has started only four times this year, he can be forgiven for a dull effort in his first start of the year, and he just missed by a head to stakes winner Work Visa in an allowance race Aug. 18. He was actually favored over Kid Katabatic in the Randall Plate but he broke slowly and then couldn't make up the difference as Kid Katabatic scored a game decision over Work Visa. Given the slow pace in the Churchill, his third there is a lot better than it looks.

Kamps sent him out for a serious work Thursday morning, and he was beaming after American Justice clocked a bullet half-mile in 47.20 seconds.

"That was perfect," he said. "He's usually not much of a work-horse so I hooked him up in company and he was really on the bit. It was just what I was looking for."

"That's the best he's ever worked for me," said his exercise rider Stuart Williams. "I had to take a tight hold on him otherwise he would have opened up a lot more on the other horse."

Lord Nelson finished second to Fancy As in last year's Premier's, and with three stakes wins at the meet would have likely been favored. However, he's been plagued by quarter cracks all year and his trainer Dino Condilenios has decided to turn him out for the year.

"They're bothering him again and it would be too much to ask him to carry all that weight [122 pounds] that far," he said. "I'm going to turn him out for the rest of the year and we'll try again next year."

Filly will try males in Graduation

The connections of 2-year-old filly Chorus Dancer were impressed enough by her win in the Fantasy Stakes last weekend to pay the $8,000 supplementary fee to take on colts and geldings in the $150,000 Ascot Graduation Breeders' Cup Oct. 27.

"She came out of her race in great shape and having a race at the distance should give her an edge," said her trainer Robbie Anderson.

Chorus Dancer had a perfect trip despite breaking a half-step slowly from post 11 and paid $3.20 to win as part of a heavily favored entry with Sadie Diamond Futurity winner Aquita. "We've also nominated Aquita but I'm not sure if she'll run or not," Anderson said.

Aquita finished third in the Fantasy behind second choice Brave Miss who has been turned out for the year. "Brave Miss was pretty tired after the race and we were planning to send her home anyway," said her trainer Barb Heads. "I think she'll be a pretty nice 3-year-old."

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