08/13/2011 3:49PM

Saratoga: Sassy Image works toward Ballerina

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Barbara D. Livingston
Top sprinter Sassy Image goes five furlongs in 59.97 seconds getting ready for the Aug. 27 Ballerina at Saratoga.

Sassy Image, the top older filly and mare sprinter in the country, worked five furlongs in 59.97 seconds before the renovation break Saturday morning in preparation for a start in the Grade 1, $250,000 Ballerina here at Saratoga on Aug. 27.

Sassy Image has won three consecutive stakes, including the Grade 1 Humana Distaff, Grade 2 Winning Colors – both at Churchill Downs – and the Grade 1 Princess Rooney at Calder in her most recent start. In the Princess Rooney, Sassy Image rallied from 18 lengths back to win.

“She worked super, she’s a machine,’’ Romans said.

McLaughlin: It’s Tricky the one to beat

After watching It’s Tricky work four furlongs in 48.84 seconds Saturday morning over Saratoga’s main track, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said his multiple Grade 1-winning filly is the horse to beat in next Saturday’s Alabama Stakes at 1 1/4 miles.

It’s Tricky, coming off wins in the Acorn and Coaching Club American Oaks, went her first quarter in 24.52 seconds and her second quarter in 24.32 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.74.

“I think they have her to beat,’’ McLaughlin said. “She obviously has won her last two Grade 1’s; we wouldn’t trade places with anybody; put it that way.’’

Others expected for the Alabama include Inglorious, Plum Pretty, and St. John’s River. Possible starters include Believe in A.P., Draw It, Royal Delta, and Pinch Pie.

Here Comes Ben to get examined

Here Comes Ben, winner of last year’s Grade 1 Forego, was sent from Saratoga to Kentucky, where he will be examined at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital on Tuesday, trainer Charles Lopresti said.

Lopresti said Here Comes Ben did not come out of his fourth-place finish in the James Marvin Stakes here on July 22 very well and he has been unable to breeze the horse since that race.

“He’s not traveling as good as he was,’’ Lopresti said. “He’s on again off again. I wish I wouldn’t have run him in that race.’’