08/20/2012 4:47PM

Saratoga: It's Tricky entered in Ballerina as Plan B

Tom Keyser
It’s Tricky is being considered for both Friday’s Ballerina and Sunday’s Personal Ensign.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The post position draw for Friday’s $500,000 Ballerina became a little more interesting than expected Monday when It’s Tricky’s name came out of the entry box for the Grade 1 fixture.

It’s Tricky is a three-time Grade 1 winner at distances ranging from a mile to 1 1/8 miles. She also won the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap this spring over the same seven-furlong distance as the Ballerina.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has had both the Ballerina and Sunday’s Grade 1 Personal Ensign at 1 1/8 miles on the radar for It’s Tricky since her arrival here earlier this summer. And while he’s been leaning toward the Personal Ensign, McLaughlin did not rule out the possibility that It’s Tricky could run in the Ballerina instead.

“We’re still leaning towards the Personal Ensign, but we thought it was worth entering the Ballerina to take a look and buy a few more days,” McLaughlin said. “It cost $5,000 to enter, but it’s worth it just in case something happens to any of the major players in there. We also still hadn’t seen the weights yet for the Personal Ensign, and she is undefeated at one turn, so there were several reasons for doing this. We’re just trying to give ourselves all options.”

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It’s Tricky was one of seven fillies and mares entered for the Ballerina. The one “major player” McLaughlin was referring to in the field is Turbulent Descent, winner of the Grade 1 Test here last summer who’ll make her first start since being purchased privately and transferred to trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn early this summer.

The remainder of the lineup includes Grade 3 winner Island Bound, All Due Respect, Belle of the Hall, the Grade 1-placed Nicole H, and Grade 3 winner Derwin’s Star.

Royal Delta gets 124 for Personal Ensign

Royal Delta completed preparations for Sunday’s $600,000 Personal Ensign Invitational Handicap by working four furlongs in 48.57 seconds over the Oklahoma training track.

Later, she was assigned high weight of 124 pounds for the Personal Ensign, one pound more than It’s Tricky, for the 1 1/8-mile race which earns the winner an automatic spot in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic.

“She worked good this morning. We’re certainly happy with her,” trainer Bill Mott said. “This was a useful work today.”

Pletcher reported Monday that he plans to run two fillies, R Gypsy Gold and Love and Pride, in the Personal Ensign. R Gypsy Gold, a two-time stakes winner who finished third at 3 in the Grade 1 Mother Goose, worked here Monday, going an easy half-mile in 48.83 seconds. Love and Pride is stabled at Delaware Park, where she worked a bullet half-mile in 47.40 on Monday. Love and Pride finished fourth after setting the pace in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap on July 21.

“I believe we’re going to run R Gypsy Gold and probably Love and Pride in the Personal Ensign,” Pletcher said. “I thought R Gypsy Gold got stuck down inside in her last start. She made a good run, but it just seemed like the track was a little better on the outside that day. Love and Pride just went way too fast the other day going a mile and one-quarter.”

Pletcher also worked another of his Personal Ensign nominees, Maristar, here Monday, but said she isn’t running and he has nothing picked out for her. The Grade 2-placed Maristar joined Pletcher’s barn earlier this month.

Pletcher also said he was pleased with the way Gemologist came out of his 47.68 half-mile work on Sunday, his first breeze since finishing a tiring sixth in the Grade 1 Haskell.

“Everything went well,” Pletcher said. “He worked well, scoped clean, and it looks like we’ve got the lung infection cleaned up.”

Pletcher said the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 22 could be a possibility for Gemologist’s next start.

– additional reporting by David Grening