08/23/2011 3:22PM

Saratoga: Saddleranch possible for King’s Bishop

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Barbara D. Livingston
Saddleranch is being considered for a start in Saturday's Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Concerns over what he called Saratoga’s demanding track surface prompted trainer Bob Baffert to leave The Factor in Southern California. But the trainer might still be represented in Saturday’s Grade 1 King’s Bishop here with a horse who has shown an affinity for this track.

Saddleranch, who won a first-level allowance race here July 23, continued to show his prowess at Saratoga by working four furlongs in 48.04 seconds Tuesday morning. The work could have been faster, but Baffert radioed jockey Martin Garcia to slow the horse down after he went in fractions of 11.45 and 23.21.

“I might run him in the King’s Bishop,” Baffert said. “He worked well today. He was going to go much faster, but I slowed him down with the radio. I’ve been trying to get him in another race, but they haven’t been filling.”

Saddleranch, a son of Vindication, won 2 of 3 starts, including a front-running score in a 6 1/2-furlong race in which he ran 1:15.02 and earned a 98 Beyer.

Whether Saddleranch runs in the King’s Bishop or not, Uncle Mo will have sufficient company in the starting gate for his return to the races in the King’s Bishop.

Trainer Steve Asmussen has Justin Phillip and Dominus under consideration, both of whom put in workouts Tuesday over the main track.

Justin Phillip, who won the Woody Stephens at Belmont in June, worked four furlongs in 50.59, while Dominus, third in the Jim Dandy, went the same distance in 50.25.

Cool Blue Red Hot, third in the Dwyer Stakes, worked four furlongs in 47.05 in preparation for the King’s Bishop.

Others expected to run include Amsterdam winner Caleb’s Posse, multiple graded stakes winner Flashpoint, Poseidon’s Warrior, and Runflatout.