08/10/2009 11:00PM

Alabama an option for Gozzip Girl

Barbara D. Livingston
Warrior's Reward, here training earlier in the Saratoga meet, worked a half-mile in 51.72 on Tuesday for the $1 million Travers on Aug. 29.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - On the same morning that the leading 3-year-old dirt filly in the country worked at Saratoga, the top 3-year-old turf filly breezed for a possible start on the dirt later this meet.

Gozzip Girl, winner of the Grade 1 American Oaks on turf at Hollywood Park in her last start, worked five furlongs in 1:03.44 on Tuesday morning over Saratoga's main track as her connections ponder where to run her next. The options for her next start include the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama on the dirt, the $150,000 Lake Placid here on turf on Aug. 21, or the $300,000 Garden City, also on turf, at Belmont on Sept. 12.

Gozzip Girl has won four of her last five starts, with the lone loss during that span coming in the Grade 1 Ashland over Keeneland's synthetic surface. The only time Gozzip Girl has raced on dirt was in her career debut last September when she finished sixth of eight.

"She worked well this morning, she alway works well on the dirt, but we still haven't made any definite plans on where she may run next," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "We're going to nominate her to the Lake Placid and the Alabama and we're just going to wait a little longer and see how she looks closer to the time."

Though Rachel Alexandra - who worked four furlongs in 50.72 seconds Tuesday over the Oklahoma training track - is nominated to the Alabama, she is not expected to run in that race.

Albertrani said the cross-country trip and the race in the Oaks did take a little toll on Gozzip Girl, but he sees signs of her coming back. Tuesday's work was Gozzip Girl's third breeze since the American Oaks.

"She lost a little bit of weight from her trip from California, but she's been slowly getting it back," Albertrani said. "She's looking good, and hopefully we see her maybe look just a little bit better in a couple of weeks. From my point of view, she's working well. We're happy with where she's at at this stage."

Warrior's Reward works for Travers

Warrior's Reward, who figures to go from co-second choice in the Jim Dandy to relative longshot in the $1 million Travers on Aug. 29, began preparing for the Midsummer Derby on Tuesday with an easy half-mile breeze in 51.72 over the main track.

It was the first work for Warrior's Reward since his second-place finish to Kensei in the Jim Dandy, a race in which he surprisingly set the early pace. Trainer Ian Wilkes has said all along that Warrior's Reward has been playing catch-up mentally, but the trainer is beginning to see signs of change in the thus far underachieving colt.

"I think he came out of it a little more focused on what he's doing now just in his works," Wilkes said. "If you watch him, he's a little more there, he's a little more crisp, instead of just running. Even in his gallops, he's doing it with a little more authority about it."

Wilkes said does not plan on making any changes for Warrior's Reward heading into the Travers. That includes his rider. At this stage, unless Rachel Alexandra enters the Travers fray, Calvin Borel is slated to ride Warrior's Reward, Wilkes said.

Bullsbay's status depends on Rachel

If Rachel Alexandra runs in the Grade 1 Woodward against older males Sept. 5, trainer Graham Motion said he would be inclined not to run his upset Whitney Handicap winner back in that race.

"If Rachel Alexandra shows up, I'd probably stay away," Motion said. "I don't want to run against her."

Bullsbay gave Motion his first Grade 1 win on dirt. He planned to ship the horse back to the Fair Hill training center in Maryland.

"At home, he can be turned out in the paddock, and we're not ruled by the weather," Motion said.

Meanwhile, Macho Again, the Whitney runner-up, may pass the Whitney and aim for the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Oct. 3, trainer Dallas Stewart said.

Cotillion possible for Flashing

Flashing, winner of Saturday's Grade 1 Test Stakes at seven furlongs, may attempt to stretch out in distance for her next start, with the $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion at Philadelphia Park on Oct. 3 a distinct possibility.

Test winners have sometimes returned three weeks later to face older fillies and mares in the Grade 1 Ballerina, but Flashing's stablemate Music Note is being considered for that seven-furlong race.

Though Flashing was beaten 31 lengths by Rachel Alexandra in the Mother Goose - her only start beyond seven furlongs - Rick Mettee, the assistant trainer for Godolphin, believes the filly deserves another chance going long.

"She'd probably pull a pretty good trip there going a mile and a sixteenth," he said.

Studart aiming for quick return

When jockey Maylan Studart broke her left leg in a freak barn accident on June 18, doctors told her she would most likely be out four to six months. But the 20-year-old Brazilian rider is aiming for a return to the saddle by the end of this meet.

Studart made her first visit to Saratoga on Tuesday, and the first horse she got on was Leatherhead, the horse who broke her leg when he fell on her walking the barn. Studart said she has been galloping horses four days a week at Belmont for the last two weeks.

Studart credits her quick recovery to an 11-day inpatient rehabilitation program she went through shortly after undergoing surgery.

"We did a lot of rehab and painkillers and it was tough, but that's what made me come back so soon, taking the time dedicated to getting the leg moving again and bending," Studart said.

Studart said she has an appointment to see her surgeon on Aug. 31 at which time she hopes to get the okay to resume racing. If she gets the approval, Studart hopes to make an appearance at Saratoga the final week.