08/25/2010 1:58PM

Don't sweat Baletti's last one

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Barbara D. Livingston
Get Stormy seeks his seventh win in eight starts in the Grade 2 Baruch.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Angel Penna has a simple explanation for why Baletti ran so poorly in the Grade 3 Monmouth Stakes two months ago.

“He was out of his mind,” Penna said.

Dehydrated by the heat and having shipped in on top of the race, Baletti finished a well-beaten sixth to Get Serious in the Monmouth. With ample time to recover and having been stabled here for a month, Penna hopes Baletti can rebound in Friday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga.

Baletti will take on seven opponents in the Baruch, including Get Stormy, the Fourstardave winner who seeks his seventh win from his last eight starts. Baletti and Get Stormy have yet to win at the Baruch distance of 1 1/8 miles.

For most of his career, Baletti has been consistent. But this year, he has alternated good races and bad ones. After winning an allowance race at Gulfstream, he finished eighth in the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz Jr. Handicap at Fair Grounds. Penna said Baletti was too close to the pace that day in what he called “miscommunication on part of rider and trainer.”

He followed that with a win in the Grade 3 Ft. Marcy at Belmont before the poor effort in the Monmouth.

“I’ve got to throw that race out,” Penna said. “He’s fine now, back to himself. A mile and an eighth I don’t think will bother him.”

The distance is a question Get Stormy will have to answer, as he has yet to run this far. Get Stormy has won his last three starts at 1 1/16 miles.

“Whenever you’re doing something you haven’t done before, you’re a little concerned about it,” Tom Bush, trainer of Get Stormy, said. “If the pace is too strong, it could have an impact at that distance.”

National Pride is 3 for 4 and comes off a front-running second-level allowance race at Monmouth Park. If he shows that same speed, he could pose a problem for Get Stormy.

Whatsthescript is the only member of the field to have won at the distance. He is coming off a fourth-place finish to Get Stormy in the Fourstardave, in which trainer Gary Contessa felt he was further off the pace than need be.

“He’s got that gear if you ask for it early, and we’ll try to be aware of it,” said Contessa, who has Rajiv Maragh to ride.

Sudden War, Nownownow, Rogue Victory, and Radical Sabbatical complete the field.