Time Arrives for Hour of Justice in Star Shoot

(from track report)
If Hour of Justice performs as well as his conditioner has in 2003, Saturday's $135,000 Star Shoot Stakes at Woodbine could be a foregone conclusion.

With three wins and eight top-three efforts in nine starts this season, veteran conditioner Reade Baker is on a roll. And though Hour of Justice has only two lifetime races to her name, the same can be said of the bay filly who'll make her seasonal and stakes bow in the Star Shoot.

"If she runs like I perform, she'll finish second," laughed Baker, who credits assistant trainer Barry Lerman with conditioning his trio of winners in 2003. "But I expect a lot from her and I think she can win it."

A duplication of the Kentucky-bred's seven-length score to close her 2002 campaign would no doubt please Baker, a solid effort at six furlongs. That is the same distance the daughter of Lit de Justice will contest at the Toronto oval this weekend.

While that victory had a plethora of positives, so too did the first-ever race for the filly with just under $75,000 in the purse earnings. The 2 ¾-length win as the favorite at five furlongs was hardly a surprise result for Baker, who figured Hour of Justice was ready to run from the outset.

"I thought she did extremely well in her first race and handled the field," said the Weston, Ontario, resident. "In the second race, she buried the field."

Morning workouts, including a three-furlong, :36 4/5 breeze on Woodbine's main track on Thursday morning, have fueled Baker optimistic frame of mind heading into the upcoming tilt.

"She'll be facing tough competition, but I think she's up for the challenge," said Baker, who won 38 races and tied for ninth in the Woodbine trainer standings last year. "There's plenty to like about her, but the most notable one is that she comes to run."

$125,000 Star Shoot Stakes, 3-year-old fillies, 6 furlongs
PP / Horse / Trainer / Jockey
1 / In the Ghetto / Dallas Stewart / Rob Landry
2 / Winter Garden / Bob Tiller / Chantal Sutherland
3 / Deputy Cures Blues / Scotty McCullough / Slade Callaghan
4 / Buffalo Jump / Josie Carroll / Patrick Husbands
5 / Hour Of Justice / Reade Baker / Jim McAleney
6 / Handpainted / Josie Carroll / Todd Kabel