08/23/2006 12:00AM

Henny Hughes's inside draw doesn't worry trainer

Henny Hughes, galloping Wednesday at Saratoga, drew post 2 in the King's Bishop.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin would have preferred a better post for Saturday's Grade 1, $250,000 at seven furlongs, but his confidence wasn't shaken even after Henny Hughes drew post 2 in a surprisingly large field of 11 3-year-olds.

"Just put up the starting gate at seven furlongs and get a jockey on his back," said McLaughlin, who has given the mount to John Velazquez. "I don't like being down on the inside, where we might have to use him a little earlier than I'd like, but I can't worry about it. Johnny's a great rider and he's on the best horse, and right now I'm more nervous just about getting him over there and out of the gate. I'm very confident going seven furlongs against 3-year-olds that he'll win this race."

The King's Bishop is one of three stakes on the undercard for Saturday's Travers Stakes, along with the Grade 2, $200,000 Bernard Baruch for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on the turf and the Grade 2, $200,000 Ballston Spa Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on grass.

Henny Hughes will be a short-priced favorite to win the King's Bishop coming off a 10-length victory in Monmouth Park's Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup on July 1 in his 3-year-old debut. His main opposition figures to come from Court Folly (post 4) and Songster (post 6), who finished first and second in the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes at six furlongs here earlier this meet. Court Folly rallied from far back to upset Songster by 1 1/2 lengths.

Court Folly worked a half-mile Wednesday in 48.53 seconds under Tracey Wilkes, wife of trainer Ian Wilkes. He came his final quarter-mile in 23.10 seconds before galloping out five-eighths in 1:00.41.

The remainder of the King's Bishop field is comprised of California invader Quietly Go, Master of Disaster, Star Dabbler, Laptop Computer, Lewis Michael, Garibaldi, Mach Ride, and El Nino.

Badge of Silver returns in Baruch

Badge of Silver heads a field of 10 in the Bernard Baruch. The runner-up in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile in 2004, Badge of Silver has not started since he won his turf debut at Santa Anita on New Year's Day, when he led throughout to capture the Grade 2 San Gabriel Handicap. Badge of Silver has trained well for his return, including a half-mile breeze in 49.87 over the main track here Wednesday.

Quest Star, another Grade 1-placed runner, also worked Wednesday for the Bernard Baruch, going an easy half-mile in 49.68 on the main track. Third in the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill Downs in 2005, Quest Star finished third, beaten a length, in a one-mile allowance here Aug. 9.

* Sweet Talker and My Typhoon, second and fourth over a yielding course in the Grade 1 Diana Handicap earlier this month, will vie for favoritism in the Ballston Spa in a field that also includes Asi Siempre and Ozone Bere.