Bob Clancy's selections for four stakes races Saturday at Saratoga Race Course:
Ballston Spa (Grade 2)
Post time: 3:59 p.m.; Distance: 1 1/16 miles (inner turf); Purse: $250,000
CENTRE COURT (5-1) has been training very well since a sluggish effort on the Kentucky Derby undercard; tactical speed should help her work out a cozy trip from the No. 2 post.
DAYATTHESPA (5-2) will be very tough if she improves off her second-place finish on this course Aug. 2, when she was racing for the first time in eight months.
FILIMBI (2-1) beat Dayatthespa with a strong finish despite a wide journey; never out of the money in 10 career starts.
King's Bishop (Grade 1)
Post time: 4:33 p.m.; Distance: 7 furlongs; Purse: $500,000
WILDCAT RED (4-1) was no match for Bayern in the Haskell, but son of D'wildcat looks like he might appreciate going back to one turn. Facing lightly raced 3-year-olds, this experienced colt could come barreling home for his first Grade 1 victory.
THE BIG BEAST (5-2) toyed with allowance foes at 6 furlongs July 26 at the Spa; moves way up in class and has to handle an additional furlong. If the distance suits, watch out.
COUP DE GRACE (2-1) finished impressively to win the Amsterdam on the same day that The Big Beast ran. Might regress a bit off that effort, the best of his career.
Ballerina (Grade 1)
Post time: 5:08 p.m.; Distance: 7 furlongs; Purse: $500,000; TV: NBC
MY MISS AURELIA (3-1) was 3-for-3 at the Spa before her third-place finish July 21, when she had a rough trip while making her first start in 16 months; very talented mare should atone for that loss in second try since the switch to Todd Pletcher's barn.
WILLET (6-1) tries open company after easily defeating state-breds July 30 at Saratoga, where she has never been worse than second in five starts. Once she gets the lead, she does not give it up.
BETTER LUCKY (4-1) beat My Miss Aurelia in latest start and will probably be finishing well again.
Travers (Grade 1)
Post time: 5:45 p.m.; Distance: 1 1/4 miles; Purse: $1.25 million; TV: NBC
KID CRUZ (12-1) ran wide in the Jim Dandy and still didn't finish too far back. Son of 1999 Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid will benefit from a fast pace, especially if Bayern is challenged on the front end. Trained by Linda Rice and ridden by the red-hot Irad Ortiz Jr., the colt with the most wins (5) in this field of 10 will surely be passing horses through the stretch and might get up in time at a very nice price.
WICKED STRONG (7-2) wore blinkers for the first time, and the move paid off in a Dandy performance. He showed much more speed and drew off to an easy victory in the traditional Travers prep. Should be tracking Bayern through the early stages and might have enough left to hold off the late runners.
TONALIST (3-1) had no excuse at 4-5, but Christophe Clement might not have had him fully cranked up for the Jim Dandy. Belmont winner is a very logical contender and will be prominent from the start.
BAYERN (2-1) won the Haskell at Monmouth, went back to the West Coast and then shipped in for this tough assignment. Bob Baffert is asking a lot of this fast colt. Wire-to-wire win possible.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun