09/01/2009 11:00PM

Pretty Prolific preps on turf


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Going from the into an overnight stakes on the turf is not the most orthodox progression for a 3-year-old filly to take at this time of year. But it is the path trainer James Baker has chosen for Pretty Prolific, who will use Thursday's $70,000 Riskaverse Stakes at a mile over the inner turf course at Saratoga as a stepping-stone to the Grade 2 Cotillion at Philadelphia Park on Oct. 3.

The Riskaverse is one of three $70,000 stakes on Thursday's card, which also features the P.G. Johnson for 2-year-old fillies on the turf and the Paul R. Fout Handicap over the hurdles.

Pretty Prolific rallied to finish second, 1 1/2 lengths behind Flashing, in the Test. A daughter of Lion Heart, Pretty Prolific has made only three starts this year, including a second-place finish three weeks prior to the Test in Monmouth's . She has never run on grass.

"I looked and looked around and felt this would be the best prep for her for the Cotillion," said James Baker, who trains Pretty Prolific for Tom Walters. "It just made the most sense since we're here. I'm actually excited about trying her on grass. Her second dam is Waya, and she breezed well over the turf last week. Realistically, it's not the best situation, but it's not bad, either, and could open some new avenues for her down the road."

Pretty Prolific will face a field loaded with turf experience. The group is led by Bluegrass Princess, runner-up to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Maram in a similar here earlier in the meet. Bluegrass Princess is already multiple graded-stakes-placed on grass.

"For a $70,000 overnight race, this one came up pretty tough, but I anticipate she'll run well again," said Bluegrass Princess's trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin. "Her last effort was very good. Unfortunately, we caught the Breeders' Cup winner that day."

Miss Catalyst will bring a two-race win streak on grass into the Riskaverse for trainer Todd Pletcher. The streak includes a come-from-behind win at a mile early in the meet.

Fast Tigress returns to New York after missing by a neck to Becky's Exchange while equipped with blinkers for the first time in Monmouth Park's on July 25.

Afternoon Stroll ships to New York seeking her first victory since upsetting Keeneland's at 50-1 in her turf debut this spring.