08/25/2010 3:55PM

Informed Decision breezes in final tune-up for Ballerina

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Barbara D. Livingston
Informed Decision will likely be favored in the Grade 1 Ballerina.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – As the reigning Eclipse Award winner in the filly and mare sprint division, Informed Decision will be one of the stars of the undercard on Saturday’s Travers Day program as the probable favorite in the Grade 1 Ballerina. On Wednesday, Informed Decision gave a little preview of what was to come when she breezed an easy four furlongs in 48.40 seconds over the Oklahoma training track with jockey Danielle Hodsdon aboard.

Working just 72 hours in advance of her race is nothing new for Informed Decision, who posted a bullet five-furlong drill of 59.80 three days prior to her last start, a 1 1/2-length victory in the Windward at Presque Isle Downs

“We actually broke her off at the 4 1/2-furlong pole so she worked further than a half-mile,” said trainer Jonathan Sheppard. “She had a very nice work. Danielle did a great job.”

Sheppard said a delay in shipping Informed Decision from Presque Isle last weekend is part of the reason the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner worked on Wednesday.

“I generally work her three or four days in advance of her races,” said Sheppard. “We didn’t have the transportation to get her here until Sunday evening and I wanted to give her two days of galloping over the track to get acclimated before her work and she really appears to be coming up to the race well.”

Informed Decision drew post 4 in a field of eight fillies and mares drawn for the seven-furlong Ballerina. The field, from the rail out, consists of Rightly So, Warbling, Jessica Is Back, Informed Decision, Qualia, Pretty Prolific, Devil by Design, and First Passage.

The Ballerina is one of three Grade 1 races on Saturday’s card along with the Travers and King’s Bishop. They will be supported by the Grade 2 Ballston Spa on the turf and Grade 3 Victory Ride for 3-year-old fillies.

Despite the decision by the connections of Trappe Shot to forego the King’s Bishop to run in the Travers, the field for the seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds is a strong one and will be led by Discreetly Mine, runaway winner of the Grade 2 Amsterdam earlier in the meet. He will be joined by five-time Grade 2 winner D’ Funnybone in a lineup that also includes Derby Trial winner Hurricane Ike, Latigo Shore, Bulldogger, Bank Merger, and In Jack’s Memory.

“The decision to run Trappe Shot in the Travers makes that a tougher race and the King’s Bishop an easier one although this is still a very good field,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains Discreetly Mine for the E. Paul Robsham Stables.

Maram and Phola, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Grade 1 Diana on July 31, top a group of 10 older fillies and mares entered for the 1 1/16-mile Ballston Spa. They will square off against Miss Keller, Danzon, Silver Reunion, Strike the Bell, Scolara, Dynaslew, Cherokee Queen, and Mekong Melody.

Pletcher will also have a strong hand in the Victory Ride with Katy Now looking for her first stakes win. Katy Now has not started since finishing fourth after setting the pace into the stretch in the Grade 1 Mother Goose on June 26. The setback snapped a three-race win streak for Katy Now, who was purchased privately and transferred to Pletcher’s barn for her 3-year-old campaign.

California invaders Sister Dawn and Rapport top the competition that includes Kid Kate, My Jen, Worstcasescenario, Simply Spiteful, Beyondallboundarys, and Touching Beauty.