08/24/2006 12:00AM

Sweet Talker sure to be on her game


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - When it comes to consistency, there are few fillies who fit the term better than Sweet Talker. A Grade 1 winner, Sweet Talker has not finished worse than second in her last nine starts dating back to May 2005, and as a result, she figures to go off as the favorite in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga.

Sweet Talker has won 6 of her last 9 outings, including the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Keeneland in her 3-year-old finale. Trained by Helen Pitts last year, Sweet Talker was turned over to Graham Motion to begin her 4-year-old campaign, and she has continued to bring her 'A' game every time she goes to post.

"She's just a hard-trying and very honest filly," said Motion. "It's pretty phenomenal how consistent she is."

Sweet Talker is coming off a rare two-race losing streak, having finished second in Hollywood Park's Grade 3 CashCall Mile on July 1 before losing by a head to Angara four weeks later in the Grade 1 Diana Handicap over yielding turf.

"She ran a huge race in the Diana, and it was just too bad she had to get beat," said Motion, who is 5 for 17 at this meet. "My original idea was to wait with her coming off that race, but there aren't any great spots for her in September, the distance of the Ballston Spa suits her well, and it should be an easier race than her last couple."

Motion said his only real concern Saturday is the weight Sweet Talker must carry under the allowance conditions of the Ballston Spa. Sweet Talker will carry high weight of 121 pounds, conceding up to eight pounds to her eight rivals.

"I'd rather this were a handicap, but I guess if it were she'd probably still be giving away weight to the others," said Motion, who has given the riding assignment to Ramon Dominguez.

If Sweet Talker falters, My Typhoon appears the most likely alternative. A Giant's Causeway filly, My Typhoon finished less than a length behind Sweet Talker after setting the pace to midstretch in the Diana. One start before the Diana, My Typhoon overcame trouble and registered a 1 3/4-length triumph in the Grade 3 Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs. She was also second here last year in the Grade 2 Lake Placid.

Trained by Bill Mott for the Live Oak Plantation, My Typhoon will carry 118 pounds and be ridden by Garrett Gomez.

Asi Siempre, the popular winner of the restricted De la Rose Stakes here earlier in the meet, steps back into graded company. A late-striding El Prado filly trained by Patrick Biancone, Asi Siempre won the Grade 3 Valley View Stakes at 3 and was second earlier this year in the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland.

Karen's Caper was beaten a nose by Sweet Talker in the 2005 QEII before finishing ninth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. She has started just once since the Breeders' Cup, finishing fourth as the 1-2 favorite in a second-level allowance here July 28.

Ozone Bere, Stella Blue, Sixty Rocketts, and Art Fan complete the lineup.