07/24/2011 1:26PM

Saratoga: It's Tricky gets green light for Alabama but Plum Pretty uncertain

Barbara D. Livingston
It's Tricky will move on to next month's Alabama Stakes, but runner-up Plum Pretty may not join her for a rematch.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -  It’s Tricky came out of her hard-fought three-quarter length victory over Plum Pretty in Saturday’s Coaching Club American Oaks tired but otherwise none the worse for wear and will be pointed to the Grade 1, $500,000 Alabama Stakes here on Aug. 20, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Sunday.

 Meanwhile, Bob Baffert, trainer of Plum Pretty, said he had not yet decided whether the Kentucky Oaks winner would stay in New York for the Alabama or return to Southern California.

 It’s Tricky and Plum Pretty hooked up at the five-sixteenths pole and were virtually inseparable in the stretch until the final 50 yards, when It’s Tricky began to edge clear. She ran her career record to 5 for 6 with the win in which she earned a 97 Beyer Speed Figure.

“She didn’t quite clean up, but she ate well and she’s a little tired,’’ McLaughlin said Sunday. “But it was a tough race, she’s supposed to be a  Iittle  tired. She was easier to catch this morning.’’

 McLaughlin was referring to the fact that It’s Tricky ran around her stall for 40 minutes on Saturday before her connections could corral her to put on her halter.

McLaughlin said he spoke with Godolphin Racing racing manager Simon Crisford ,who told him to point It’s Tricky to the Alabama “if you’re happy and she’s happy.’’

 Baffert, speaking by phone from Southern California, said Plum Pretty “came back great’’ out of the CCA Oaks. Baffert said he is pointing Plum Pretty to the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Churchill Downs but had to decide what the best path is to get there. Races such as the Alabama at 1 1/4 miles or the $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion going 1 1/8 miles at Parx Racing on Oct. 1 are the richest races remaining for 3-year-old  fillies.

I haven’t thought that far ahead yet,’’ Baffert said. "She ran a great race. If there would have been exchange wagering I would have lost. I would have been hitting that button turning for home.’’

Baffert said that Saddleranch, a 3-year-old sprinter who won a first-level allowance race earlier on Saturday’s card, will remain at Saratoga and be pointed to the Grade 1 King’s Bishop here on Aug 27. Saddleranch went gate to wire running 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.02 and earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure.

"He broke his maiden really impressively, his second race he ran was just so-so, but he’d been training well for [Saturday’s] race,’’ Baffert said. "We’ll leave him there for the King’s Bishop.’’

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch