08/02/2002 11:00PM

Farda Amiga to make comeback in Alabama


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N. Y. - Farda Amiga, who has not started since upsetting the Kentucky Oaks, will return to action at Saratoga Aug. 17 in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes. Farda Amiga paid $42 after running down the pacesetting favorite Take Charge Lady to win the Grade 1 Oaks under Chris McCarron.

"She got sick after the race in Kentucky; we had a problem with her white blood count, but she's doing fine now," said trainer Paulo Lobo. "She worked seven furlongs in 1:25 and change last week and will have two more works in California before shipping to Saratoga four days before the race."

Lobo said that Pat Day will replace the recently retired McCarron aboard Farda Amiga in the Alabama.

"Obviously I'm concerned that she's gone 100 days without a race and she'll have to go 10 furlongs in the Alabama," said Lobo. "My filly also needs a big pace to do her best. But we'll give her a chance, see what happens, and then make plans for the remainder of the season."

Expected to join Farda Amiga in the Alabama are Bella Bellucci, Nonsuch Bay, Jilbab, All American Bertie, and You.

Prado slated to ride You

With Bobby Frankel having named Jerry Bailey to ride Beat Hollow in the Arlington Million on Aug. 17, Frankel said Edgar Prado would ride You in the Alabama.

Frankel made a similar move last year when Bailey was out of town for the Million and Prado rode Flute to a gate-to-wire victory in the Alabama. On Friday, Frankel said You would run in the Alabama "if she's acting like she is now."

You has four Grade 1 victories this year, including a courageous nose victory in the Test Stakes here July 27.

Monarchos's successor?

Trainer John Ward and owner John Oxley, who teamed up to win the 2001 Kentucky Derby with Monarchos, appear to have another classic prospect on their hands following Sky Mesa's impressive 7 3/4-length victory at six furlongs in his career debut Saturday.

Sky Mesa is a son of Pulpit out of the Storm Cat mare Caress and brought $750,000 at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sales.

"He comes from a brilliant family and is probably one of the better colts I've trained because of his depth of pedigree and range," said Ward. "I told Edgar [Prado] that sprinting is not his game and to just keep him wide and out of traffic problems. If he looks all right we'll likely consider the Hopeful, which will give us an extra half a furlong to work with."

Pletcher's girls

Todd Pletcher's cup runneth over for next Monday's $150,000 Adirondack Stakes. Of the 26 2-year-old fillies nominated to the Grade 2 dash, six hail from Pletcher's barn, including the undefeated Freedom's Daughter, who won the Schuylerville Stakes here on opening day.

But Pletcher is playing it close to the vest in regard to who will run in the Adirondack.

"I may just wait all the way until entry time before deciding who we'll start in the Adirondack," Pletcher said on Saturday. "We've been fortunate to have so many fillies break their maidens already. Now it's a matter of setting up a schedule for them and picking out who needs to run. I'd like to keep them spread out the best I can and at this point I'd say probably only one of them will run in this race."

Along with Freedom's Daughter, Pletcher's bevy of 2-year-old beauties includes Appleby Gardens, Blink Twice, Chimchurri, Ella Bella and La Violette.

"They will all probably work once more between now and the Adirondack, and those works should give us a better idea where we stand and who'll eventually start for us next week."

No Ballerina for Gold Mover

Gold Mover, who finished fourth as the 3-2 favorite in Friday's Honorable Miss Stakes, came out of the race in good order but will not run in the Grade 1 Ballerina, trainer Mark Hennig said Saturday.

Hennig said Gold Mover's lackluster performance could be attributed to the sloppy track. It was the first time she had run on an off track.

"Jerry [Bailey] said she just didn't handle it at all," Hennig said. "She was just scrambling trying to keep up."

Hennig said he would most likely run Gold Mover in the $100,000 Floral Park Handicap at Belmont on Sept. 14.