08/26/2007 11:00PM

Amansara revitalized at the Spa


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - After Amansara ran a strong second in her first start in seven months, trainer George Weaver seriously contemplated running her in last week's Grade 2 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup.

But after examining that field - which included a bevy of multiple graded stakes winners - Weaver went searching for a softer spot. He hopes that's what he found in Wednesday's $80,000 Perfect Sting, an overnight stakes for non-stakes winners in 2007 that drew a field of six. The Perfect Sting will be run at 1 1/8 miles over Saratoga's inner turf course.

Amansara, a daughter of War Chant, was sidelined for half the year due to a severe leg infection and a dislike for training over Polytrack. Weaver said that when Amansara arrived in Saratoga she turned the corner, and she ran a superb second, one length behind Fantastic Shirl, in the De La Rose on Aug. 1.

"She has a very quick acceleration, and we kind of feel like it needs to be timed properly; not that it was timed improperly last time," said Weaver, who has Ramon Dominguez to replace Edgar Prado. "She has a very quick move; if you use it, she gives it to you. She'd rather do the attacking than make that move and be attacked. We felt like we got beat by a pretty decent filly last time."

Amansara, who spots five pounds to her five rivals, has won at 1 1/8 miles.

Prado will retain the mount on Criminologist, whom he rode to a head victory in a third-level allowance race here on Aug. 9. Prior to that, Criminologist was beaten 2 1/4 lengths by the talented Meribel in the Foresta on Belmont Stakes Day.

"I thought in the race on Belmont Day she had a chance to be second to Meribel," trainer Shug McGaughey said. "I don't think there are Meribels in here."

Criminologist finished sixth in her lone try at 1 1/8 miles, but McGaughey believes she raced too close to the pace.

Mo Cuishle, who won a Grade 3 on dirt last year, ran fourth in the De La Rose, finishing a half-length behind Amansara. Trainer Barclay Tagg believes that effort warranted giving her another try on the turf.

"I think she's better on the turf because she can breathe a little better," Tagg said. "She's had her share of wind problems; she seems to be doing good right now."