08/14/2006 11:00PM

Jerkens seeks yet another stunner

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Flower Alley, with groom Martin Estrada at Saratoga, will try to rebound from his Whitney disappointment when he runs in the Woodward.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Allen Jerkens will attempt to do Saturday what he has done best throughout his Hall of Fame training career: win an important race when he's not expected to.

Jerkens will send out the uncoupled entry of Miss Shop and Teammate in Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga. Jerkens has won the Alabama three times, including two years ago with Society Selection.

Six of the eight expected Alabama starters are coming out of the Coaching Club American Oaks, which was won by Wonder Lady Anne L. Miss Shop and Teammate finished third and fifth.

Of the two Jerkens runners, Teammate is the most accomplished, having taken the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss at Gulfstream in March. But Miss Shop's versatility and consistency could make her an intriguing upset candidate in the 1 1/4-mile Alabama.

On Tuesday, Jerkens sent both horses out for one-mile workouts over Saratoga's main track. Miss Shop, a daughter of Deputy Minister who has already run eight times this year, went the distance in 1:43.16 under jockey Richard Migliore. Teammate went in 1:39.17. Both fillies worked by themselves.

Migliore has ridden Miss Shop in each of her last two starts, including an overnight turf stakes victory at Belmont on July 3. Nineteen days later, Miss Shop caught a muddy track and had a bit of a wide trip when she finished third behind Wonder Lady Anne L and Pine Island in the Coaching Club.

"I thought she ran a real good race, a real steady grinding race, and I really think I learned a little bit more about her where maybe I could get a little more out of her this time," Migliore said. "When I rode her on the grass she just kind of lingered, and when I asked her she kicked real hard. In the Coaching Club it was more of a kind of a grind, and she kept coming, and me being more aware of that, I have a little different idea in my head where I should be positioned and when I should launch my run."

Of Tuesday's work, Migliore said, "We weren't looking for anything spectacular, just something to keep her fit."

Teammate is a half-sister to War Front, winner of last week's Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap. She has disappointed in three Grade 1 races since returning to New York. After pressing the pace in the Coaching Club, Teammate dropped back to third and tried to come again before tiring in the final furlong.

"I thought she fought harder last time than she has in a while," Jerkens said.

Jerkens said he is also hoping the true two-turn nature of the Alabama will suit Teammate better. Cornelio Velasquez will ride Teammate.

Other Alabama starters and their riders are Adieu (John Velazquez), Lemons Forever (Mark Guidry), Pine Island (Javier Castellano), Pyramid Love (Julien Leparoux), Unbridled Belle (Garrett Gomez), and Wonder Lady Anne L (Edgar Prado).

Swap Fliparoo out indefinitely

Jerkens reported Tuesday that Test winner Swap Fliparoo will not run again at this meet and is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.

"I didn't like one of her ankles," Jerkens said. "There's nothing that shows on [X-ray]."

Jerkens had been considering Swap Fliparoo for the Ballerina here on Aug. 27 or the Gazelle at Belmont on Sept. 9.

Flower Alley heads list of Pletcher workers

Flower Alley, who finished seventh as the 3-2 favorite in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap on Aug. 5, continued preparations for next month's Grade 1 Woodward here by breezing five furlongs in 1:02.27 Tuesday morning over Saratoga's main track.

After examining the Ragozin sheet numbers, trainer Todd Pletcher said he believes the Whitney came up a strong race and that Flower Alley, having had just one race under his belt, wasn't ready for a peak effort. Invasor won the Whitney by a nose over Sun King. Flower Alley was beaten nine lengths.

"The [Whitney] might not have been as bad as it seemed," Pletcher said. "According to the Ragozins, he ran just as fast there as he did [winning] the Salvator Mile, so it probably was a strong race. It was only his second start of the year. Hopefully, having that race under his belt, and today was his first of three breezes between the Whitney and the Woodward, I would think he would move forward for having done that."

Pletcher had several of his other stakes horses out for workouts on Tuesday. Scat Daddy, winner of the Sanford here July 27, worked four furlongs by himself in 48.04 seconds, the fastest of 24 breezes at the distance. He is preparing for the Grade 1 Hopeful on Sept. 4.

"He worked super impressively," Pletcher said, "just galloping out there in 48, and he galloped out strongly afterward."

Circular Quay, the Bashford Manor winner who is also pointing to the Hopeful, worked four furlongs in company with Go for Wand winner Spun Sugar. Spun Sugar finished about one length in front, recording a time of 49.64 seconds. Circular Quay recorded a time of 49.81. Spun Sugar is being pointed to the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland on Oct. 8.

"He needs company," Pletcher said of Circular Quay. "She's cooperative no matter what you do with her. She was happy. She's competitive, but she's cooperative in her breezes, and she was due a breeze."

Latent Heat may try Forego

After learning that Latent Heat earned a very good figure - a 2 1/2 - on the Ragozin sheets for his allowance win here Aug. 11, trainer Bobby Frankel said he is now thinking of running Latent Heat against older horses in the Grade 1 Forego here on Sept. 4.

A 3-year-old, Latent Heat won a third-level allowance race by 3 3/4 lengths, running 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.01. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 107.

Frankel said Latent Heat came out of the allowance race "full of energy." Under the allowance conditions of the Forego, Latent Heat would have to carry only 114 pounds and should be getting weight from the likes of Commentator, Silver Wagon, War Front, and Pomeroy.

Stormy Kiss breezes toward Ballerina

Stormy Kiss, winner of the Honorable Miss here Aug. 4, breezed four furlongs in 49.33 seconds as she prepares for the Grade 1 Ballerina.

"She's doing real good," said trainer Barclay Tagg. "I guess I'd have to run her in the Ballerina."

Stormy Kiss had run well at Belmont, but she seemed to excel here.

"At Belmont, she kept getting a little [tired] on me on that sandy track," Tagg said. "I think she likes this track better. I think this track has been real good this year."

City Snitch to await Hopeful

While City Snitch would have looked good in Thursday's Grade 2 Saratoga Special Breeders' Cup, trainer Patrick Biancone elected to keep him out of that race to await the Grade 1 Hopeful.

Biancone has been unsuccessfully chasing the Hopeful this decade, having sent out the beaten favorite in three of the last four runnings. In 2002, Zavata finished third as the 1-5 favorite, having run with 17 days between races. In 2003, Chapel Royal was second to Silver Wagon, having run with 37 days between races. Last year, Biancone's Henny Hughes was second at 3-5 to First Samurai, having run with 30 days between races.

City Snitch won a maiden race by 11 1/4 lengths here on opening day in his second start. He will have 40 days between starts.

"The reason we go straight to that is because I've been nailed three times in this race the last [four] years with the favorite," Biancone said. "I try to bring a horse very fresh. He's got two races in him, anyway. When he won the other day he did everything perfect. He [broke] well, he rated well, he accelerated. He doesn't need to learn more. He just needs to be fresh and happy."

* Pletcher said that Garrett Gomez would ride High Cotton in the Travers.