10/03/2012 3:32PM

Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint: Contested will train up to race, Baffert says

Barbara D. Livingston
Contested will go into the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint off this victory in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga.

Still basking in the glow of three stakes wins Saturday, trainer Bob Baffert expressed confidence that Contested will not need a prep race in order to bring her “A” game to the seven-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint, which has been shifted to the Saturday, Nov. 3, program this year.

Contested is a perfect 5 for 5 on fast dirt tracks, including her seasonal bow at Santa Anita off a layoff and Grade 1 wins in the Acorn and Test. The Test victory came off a two-month break following a last-place finish when she raced on a dead rail in the Mother Goose.

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“I could probably have run her in the little prep here this week,” Baffert said, referring to Sunday’s $100,000 L.A. Woman Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita, “but she looks good and she gets a lot out of her works.”

Contested has worked three times at Santa Anita since the Test: a bullet half-mile in 47 seconds Sept. 17, followed by an easy half in 49.60 eight days later and a six-furlong move in 1:13 on Monday.

“She went really nice,” Baffert said. “The track has been deep and demanding, especially in the a.m.”

Baffert said that although it’s too far out, Eden’s Moon could be a possibility for the Filly and Mare Sprint, depending on how she runs in Saturday’s Indiana Oaks at Hoosier Downs.

Include Me Out, who battled a speed bias finishing third in the Zenyatta, will stay routing, trainer Ron Ellis said.

“The only filly I might have for the race is Teddy’s Promise, but she’ll run in the Cal Cup first,” Ellis said. “If she were to breeze home in that, maybe we’d consider it.”

Last Dec. 31, Teddy’s Promise notched her biggest victory in Santa Anita’s Grade 1 La Brea at seven-eighths.

Switch, runner-up in the last two renewals of the Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs, also appeared to be compromised by the speed-favoring nature of the track in the Zenyatta, in which she saved ground throughout and finished seventh. The 5-year-old mare earned an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup by winning the A Gleam at Hollywood Park in July.

It’s Tricky, a multiple Grade 1 winner at distances ranging from seven furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, is a possibility to shorten up after getting steamrolled by Royal Delta in the Beldame Invitational.

“It was a match race all the way, and we finished second best,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “We’ll talk with [Godolphin racing manager] Simon Crisford whether to go seven [furlongs] or longer or not to go at all.”

Groupie Doll will be heavily favored to extend her winning streak to four in Saturday’s Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland. Groupie Doll drew post 6 in a field of nine entered in the Grade 2 TCA, which is the fourth and final Win and You’re In race for the division.