08/04/2002 11:00PM

Rain or shine, Clement has the horse


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Firm ground or soft, trainer Christophe Clement appears to have all the bases covered in Wednesday's featured allowance race at Saratoga.

One of seven stakes-less days of the meet, Wednesday's feature is a $58,000 classified allowance race for fillies and mares at one mile over the inner turf course. A field of seven was entered on the turf, and two more were entered for main-track only.

Clement has named Jerry Bailey on both Step With Style and Siringas, so only one may run. Clement said Step With Style would run if the ground is soft, Siringas if it is firm.

Siringas has two wins and three seconds in five starts since coming to Clement's barn last fall. Bailey rode Siringas to a four-length victory in a second-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park in March. Siringas wore blinkers that day and also when she finished second behind Beefeater Baby in a third-level allowance race at Keeneland.

Clement took the blinkers off and Siringas responded with a one-length victory in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes at Woodbine. They were off again when she finished second behind Clearly a Queen in the Matchmaker. Clearly a Queen came back to win Sunday's Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap at Monmouth Park.

Clement said he is putting the blinkers back on Siringas on Wednesday because "going a mile or a mile and a sixteenth on firm turf she needs to be a bit sharper," he said.

Step With Style certainly is the weaker half of the entry, having lost her last 10 starts. She has endured her share of troubled trips and perhaps the change to Bailey can remedy that.

Bailey has beaten Clement in three photos at this meet. Clement said the reason Bailey is riding for him Wednesday is because this race was originally scheduled for Sunday, when his regular rider Jose Santos was out of town.

Though Tippity Witch has not won since Oct. 29, 2000 - a span comprising 12 starts - Clement says she is the one he fears. A 5-year-old daughter of Affirmed, Tippity Witch is coming off a second-place finish behind Tates Creek in a July 6 allowance race at Belmont Park. Tates Creek came back to win the

Grade 2 Diana Handicap here opening weekend.

Tippity Witch has run well over Saratoga's turf course, with a win and a nose loss to Spook Express from three starts.

Tippity Witch blew out three furlongs in 36.17 seconds on Wednesday, her second straight bullet workout.

Completing the field are Watch, Madame Red, Kiss a Miss, and Cozzy Corner.

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