08/09/2013 4:42PM

Saratoga: Centre Court looking to rebound in Ballston Spa

Coady Photography/Keeneland
Centre Court won the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley in April before finishing last in the Grade 1 Diana last month at Saratoga.

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Centre Court trained as well as just about anybody over the Oklahoma turf course here this summer in preparation for the Grade 1 Diana but turned in a disappointing performance when finishing a tiring fifth and last after attending the pace of wire-to-wire winner Laughing for more than a mile.

Trainer George “Rusty” Arnold is hoping that Centre Court will move forward off that effort when she returns Aug. 24 in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa. With that in mind, Arnold on Thursday sent his Grade 1 winner back to the Oklahoma turf, where she again turned in a razor-sharp work, breezing an easy five furlongs in 59.73 seconds over the firm course.

Arnold is still searching for a reason for Centre Court’s uncharacteristically poor effort in the Diana, which was just her second start since capturing the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland on April 13.

“The race was a funny race,” Arnold said. “I’m not sure I had her dead fit; I might be wrong. If she doesn’t run back well, maybe I am. She ran a little like she got tired. Give the winner a lot of credit – she ran a great race. But it wasn’t the kind of race we were looking for, to have to chase the other filly, and I think it will be a little different next time. My filly has done great since that day, and I’m kind of excited to run her back and get her back to where she was.”

The Ballston Spa will be run on the Travers undercard.

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