08/16/2013 4:30PM

Saratoga: Centre Court looking good to go in Ballston Spa

Tom Keyser
Centre Court is targeting the Ballston Spa Stakes following a disappointing Diana finish.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Centre Court finished a disappointing fifth as the favorite in the Grade 1 Diana Stakes here last month, and trainer Rusty Arnold believes he has a reason.

Centre Court had a foot abscess out of the race, Arnold said Friday. But Centre Court is apparently a quick healer as she has now worked twice since the Diana in preparation for a start in next Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga.

On Friday, Centre Court worked four furlongs in 48.21 seconds over the Oklahoma turf course, getting her final quarter in 23.67.

"She's doing great. I'm happy with where we're going - ready to go," Arnold said. "She had an abscess. We think we got it fixed. She's got to get through the work and see how it is."

Provided Centre Court comes out of the work well, she will have a new rider for the Ballston Spa, with John Velazquez replacing Julien Leparoux, who has been aboard for Centre Court's last eight starts including a victory the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes.

"He rode her perfect," Arnold said of Leparoux. "He's riding at Del Mar. We wanted somebody who was here."

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Others pointing to the Ballston Spa are Hard Not to Like, Hessonite, Hungry Island, Laughing, Miz Ida, Samitar, and Somali Lemonade. Better Lucky and Embarr are possible.