08/08/2011 2:52PM

Saratoga: Pletcher fillies tune up for stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Georgie's Angel is working toward a start in the Grade 1 Spinaway on Sept. 4 at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Georgie’s Angel and Hilda’s Passion stayed on course for important stakes races later this meet with easy workouts Monday morning on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga.

Georgie’s Angel, who won the Schuylerville Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on opening day, went a half-mile in 52.08 seconds. She will not run until the Grade 1 Spinaway on Sept. 4.

“She’s just going to go straight to the Spinaway, so she’ll breeze about three more times,” Pletcher said.

Hilda’s Passion, who threw in an uncharacteristically poor performance in last month’s Bed o’ Roses at Belmont Park, traveled a half-mile in 49.89 in preparation for the Grade 1 Ballerina here Aug. 27. Pletcher said he skipped the Honorable Miss on Sunday because “I didn’t think we could do both, and the Ballerina is a Grade 1.”

Pletcher said the only theory he can come up with as to why Hilda’s Passion ran a subpar race in the Bed o’ Roses is that “the surface was a little peculiar.”

“She couldn’t make the lead against the same filly she’s been well in front of before,” he said. “I’m hoping it was just the surface.”

Pletcher added that Calibrachoa, who finished third in the Vanderbilt on Sunday, was in good shape Monday morning. Calibrachoa was reported as slightly lame immediately after the race by the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s on-call veterinarian, who was working the national telecast of the race.

En Fuego ready for returns

After making eight starts last year, En Fuego has made it to the starting gate just twice this year, a situation that has frustrated trainer Christophe Clement. When he runs in Wednesday’s ninth race, a second-level allowance at 1 3/16 miles on turf, it will be En Fuego’s first start in 3 1/2 months.

“It’s been difficult finding a race for him,” Clement said of En Fuego. “I could not find a race for him going a mile and an eighth. There’s been nothing wrong with him. I just haven’t been able to find a race.”

En Fuego lost his first 10 starts, won two in a row, and now has lost six straight, but he has finished in the money in 12 of 18 starts.

“He’s been a bit unlucky,” Clement said. “He doesn’t have any early speed.”

The ninth race Wednesday also includes Close Ally, who was second to Banned in the American Turf at Churchill Downs on May 6 and most recently ran in the American Derby at Arlington.

◗ Jockey David Cohen will not ride at Saratoga on Wednesday because his fiancée, Maria, was scheduled to give birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter, on Tuesday afternoon, according to Cohen’s agent, Bill Castle, who said Cohen would return to riding Thursday.