03/22/2011 3:00PM

Aqueduct: Saratoga Fling gets another shot on inner track


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The calendar says spring, but no one told Old Man Winter.

A forecast for mixed precipitation and temperatures in the low 40s may conspire to give Thursday’s inner track card a mid-winter feel – one that will only be reinforced by eight claiming races, three of which are for maidens.

The nominal feature is race 8, a $44,000 first-level allowance sprint at six furlongs that attracted six fillies, headed by the Thoroughbred Legends Racing Stable entry of Saratoga Fling and Alla Prima, a pair of 4-year-old fillies purchased respectively for $210,000 and $200,000 as yearlings.

Saratoga Fling, currently based at Parx Racing for trainer Ronny Werner, appears to be the stronger half of the entry on the basis of a maiden win in her only local appearance this winter. Freshened seven weeks after a near miss in her first start for Werner, the daughter of Pulpit shipped to The Big A for a front-running maiden win Jan. 17, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 75. She essentially matched that figure (74) in her only subsequent start, when she raced wide and finished fourth at her home track.

Alla Prima, meanwhile, needed nine starts to graduate for Nick Zito and finally did so last fall when taken to Suffolk Downs for a 20-length romp at odds of 1-10. The Silver Deputy filly has posted her three fastest races on the inner track this winter, but those figures still leave her a few lengths behind Saratoga Fling.

The one to catch may be Devilish Spirit, a Pont Street Stable homebred who turns back to her best distance after an unsuccessful stretch-out attempt two weeks ago from the far outside post.

Two starts back, Devilish Spirit returned from a layoff and wired second-level New York-bred allowance sprinters for trainer Bruce Brown, who posted three of his 24 meet wins on last Thursday’s program.

Flying Train, who raced twice in stakes on the inner track at the turn of the year, makes her first start since finishing last of five in the Ruthless on Jan. 2. The lone 3-year-old in the lineup, Flying Train, won off a 10-week absence at the fall meet in her first start off a claim by current trainer David Jacobson.

Cautionary Tale and Victoria Lynn each make their second starts of the year and round out the field.