08/11/2012 4:38PM

Saratoga: Turbulent Descent set for Ballerina

Barbara D. Livingston
Turbulent Descent won the Desert Stormer Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park in her only start this year.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Turbulent Descent, now a full-fledged New Yorker after having spent the last month in trainer Todd Pletcher’s Saratoga barn, is on target for a start in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina here on Aug. 24.

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On Saturday, over a wet Oklahoma training track that was labeled good, Turbulent Descent worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 in company with the undefeated 3-year-old filly Ciao Bella (2 for 2). Track clockers timed Turbulent Descent’s final quarter in 23.80 seconds and had her galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.40.

Pletcher, who took over the training of Turbulent Descent after she was purchased privately by Coolmore Stud, has been impressed with the 4-year-old filly’s progress since she arrived.

“She’s trained exceptionally well and has run well fresh before. I don’t anticipate needing a race,” he said. “She acts like she’s on go.”

In early July, Pletcher flew to Southern California, watched Turbulent Descent train and talked to her previous trainer, Mike Puype.

“He told me a little about the filly, I got to watch her train. She came to us in excellent condition,” Pletcher said. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, just want to keep her on the same program.”

Turbulent Descent, a daughter of Congrats, has won 7 of 11 starts, including the Grade 1 Test here last summer. Her other graded stakes wins include the Hollywood Starlet and Santa Anita Oaks – both Grade  1’s – and the Grade 2 Beaumont at Keeneland.

“At seven furlongs she’s as good as anybody in the division,” Pletcher said. “The Ballerina is the first goal. If things go according to plan, she should make the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.”

Turbulent Descent has run just once this year, having won the Desert Stormer Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 17.