Updated on 09/17/2011 5:48PM

Balletto keeps improving


Trainer Tom Albertrani believed Balletto could be special before she ever ran. When Balletto overcame a nine-length deficit to win a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race at Belmont Park last July, he was proven right.

Balletto has continued to improve and now that she is running in distance races, she has developed into a Grade 1 winner. If Balletto can translate her one-turn success at Belmont around two turns at Lone Star, she figures to be in the mix in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 30.

Albertrani believes Balletto ran the same race in winning the Frizette as she did when beaten a length in the Matron. The difference between winning and losing, Albertrani said, was the trip.

In the Matron, Balletto, racing along the inside, got stuck behind the tiring Graceful Nancy while Sense of Style had a clearer trip on the outside. Balletto, who had some difficulty switching leads, rallied for second.

In the Frizette, Balletto was again racing along the inside, but was farther off the pace. She rallied between horses, came outside for the stretch, and altered course to the inside while Sis City was drifting out. When she switched leads, Balletto lengthened her stride and outfinished Ready's Gal.

"It was good to see because, hopefully, if she gives us the same effort the next time she's going to be equally as tough,'' said Albertrani, who trains Balletto for Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable.

It was Albertrani's intention to run Balletto long from the start. But she got ready to run in mid-summer so he ran her short for some experience. After winning a maiden race by 2 1/4 lengths on July 18, Balletto came back in 15 days to win a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race at Saratoga.

Albertrani felt the Spinaway came back too quick, so he gave her a six-week freshening that has seemingly paid dividends.

"This filly's done so well after every race it's unbelievable,'' Albertrani said. "She's really training to the best of her ability right now.''

Jerry Bailey will ride Balletto in the Juvenile Fillies, becoming her fifth rider. Edgar Prado was aboard for the maiden win, but had another commitment when Albertrani made a last-minute decision to run in the allowance race. John Velazquez rode her that day. Both Prado and Velazquez had commitments when Balletto ran in the Matron, a race in which Aaron Gryder rode.

Though Albertrani said Gryder did nothing wrong, the decision was made to go with Corey Nakatani in the Frizette. Nakatani, however, is committed to ride Sweet Catomine, the probable Juvenile Fillies favorite.

Sis City to skip race

Sis City, the third-place finisher in the Frizette, will not run in the Juvenile Fillies, trainer Richard Dutrow confirmed on Friday.

"I just didn't think it was right for her,'' said Dutrow, who may run Sis City in the Tempted at Aqueduct on Nov. 2.

Sis City's defection enables Culture Clash to get into the body of the race. Quiet Honor now needs one scratch to get into the field.

* In the Gold, beaten a head when third in the Alcibiades in her last start, worked five furlongs in 1:01 at Keeneland on Friday.