Updated on 09/15/2011 12:40PM

Allowance prep is Plan B for Flute


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Bobby Frankel has found the ideal prep race to get Flute ready for the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes here Aug. 18.

Frankel, who scratched Flute out of last Saturday's Grade 3 Delaware Oaks because she drew an outside post position, has entered Flute in a second-level allowance race at nine furlongs here on Friday. Flute will face six rivals.

"This is Plan B," Frankel said from California. "I'm not into winning a Group 2 or Group 3. After it was all over I was glad I did what I did, scratching her [from the Delaware Oaks]. I'm not sure how she would have handled that track or the heat."

Flute, a daughter of Seattle Slew owned by Juddmonte Farms, has two wins and two seconds in four career starts. She was in jeopardy of being excluded from the Kentucky Oaks due to a lack of earnings, but after drawing in, she won by 2 3/4 lengths.

Frankel was planning to run Flute back in the Mother Goose, but she developed a minor foot problem and could not run.

"She had a pus pocket break out and it healed up in two or three days," Frankel said. "We patched it and she's been fine ever since. She missed like two or three days. Since that happened I think she's worked three-quarters once and five-eighths twice.

"I'm expecting her to run really good. I'm not worried about her fitness."

While Jerry Bailey will ride Flute Saturday, he is not expected to be on her for the Alabama because he will be in Chicago that day to ride in the Arlington Million.

"Let's see how she runs," Frankel said. "Maybe he won't want to go."

Flute's biggest test could come from Shiny Band, a winner of two straight races for trainer Allen Jerkens, and Transcendental, who comes off an eight-length romp in a preliminary allowance race at Belmont.

Xtra Heat eyes Test and bonus

Xtra Heat, a filly who sold for $5,000 at auction, could surpass the $1 million mark in earnings Saturday when she heads a strong field expected for the $250,000 Grade 1 Test Stakes.

Should Xtra Heat win, she will earn the $150,000 first-place purse plus a $200,000 bonus put up by Keeneland for a horse who wins the Beaumont and the Test. That money would put her past $1.1 million in earnings.

Xtra Heat is coming off her most impressive victory, a neck triumph over Above Perfection in the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes. Above Perfection came back to win the Fleet Treat stakes for California-breds at Del Mar on Sunday.

The Test is at seven furlongs, a distance at which Xtra Heat has four wins and a second in five tries. She lost her last start at seven furlongs, the Nassau County, by a nose to Cat Chat.

"I think she might be better at seven-eighths," trainer John Salzman said. "She's won her races easier at seven-eighths."

Others expected for the Test are Acorn one-two finishers Forest Secrets and Victory Ride, Gold Mover, Harmony Lodge, Kimbralata, Nasty Storm, Secret Liaison, and Spanish Glitter.

City Zip returns to the scene

City Zip, who last summer became just the fourth horse to sweep all three of Saratoga's juvenile stakes, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.41 over Saratoga's main track Wednesday. He is preparing for the $125,000 Amsterdam Stakes on Aug. 3.

"I can see in his eyes and in his expressions that he knows where he's at," trainer Linda Rice said. "A light bulb went on; I think he realizes this is some place he's been over."

Rice said she would work City Zip one more time before the Amsterdam. City Zip will enter that six-furlong race for 3-year-olds coming off victories in the Hirsch Jacobs at Pimlico and the Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park.

"I'm excited about him coming off two good efforts and coming back to the Spa," Rice said.

Put It Back, a winner of five consecutive races, including the Riva Ridge, is also expected to run in the Amsterdam. On Wednesday, he drilled five furlongs in 58.82 seconds over Saratoga's main track. Others expected for the Amsterdam are Songandaprayer, Speightstown, and Trailthefox.

Wheelaway getting close

Wheelaway, unraced since a fourth-place finish in the 2000 Belmont Stakes, worked five furlongs in 1:03.46 Wednesday over the Oklahoma training track. The work, Wheelaway's first at five furlongs during this comeback, was the fastest of four at the distance.

Trainer John Kimmel said he hopes to race Wheelaway in the next few weeks, but doesn't know at what distance.

"Preferably I'd like to run at a middle distance, but here it's either seven-eighths or a mile and an eighth," Kimmel said. "I'm sure he'll get a race before we leave here."

The Kimmel-trained Hook and Ladder, last in the June 9 True North Handicap in his last start, is due to have his first breeze since that race on Friday. Hook and Ladder, who defeated Trippi in the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship in March, re-opened a quarter crack in the True North and has been given time to let it heal.

"I cut the whole thing out, gave it a month to grow out, toughen it up and repair it," Kimmel said. "He's been galloping for two weeks and he's had three days of galloping up here. We're on target to get a start before the meet's over."

Kimmel is targeting the Forego on Sept. 1 for Hook and Ladder's next start.

Kimmel said A New Twist, an impressive maiden winner at first asking, may make her next start in the $125,000 Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sept. 1. The filly is battling sensitive shins and Kimmel is debating whether to stop on her or go on.

"If there's any chance to run her, I might point to her to the Sorority," he said.

* Dat You Miz Blue, prepping for next Wednesday's Honorable Miss Stakes, breezed five furlongs in 58.48 seconds, the fastest of 27 works at the distance.

* Affirmed Success, winner of the Poker Handicap on July 4, arrived in Saratoga on Tuesday after spending a few weeks at owner Al Fried's upstate farm. Trainer Richard Schosberg said he will train Affirmed Success up to the Atto Mile on Sept. 9 at Woodbine.

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