ESPN.com - Horse Racing - Shine Again wins second straight Ballerina

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Sunday, August 25
Shine Again wins second straight Ballerina




SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- The sun rose again Sunday at Saratoga and Shine Again rose to the occasion again in the Grade 1 Ballerina Handicap.

Ballerina
Shine Again wins the Ballerina at Saratoga Race Course.
Duplicating her sterling performance in last year's Ballerina, Shine Again persevered through the stretch under Jean-Luc Samyn to run down the classy duo of Raging Fever and Mandy's Gold and win the $250,000 Ballerina by one-half length. Raging Fever, the 6-5 favorite, finished second, 1 1-4 lengths ahead of Mandy's Gold.

Shine Again, a 5-year-old Allaire duPont homebred daughter of Two Punch trained by Allen Jerkens, became the first repeat winner of the Ballerina in the 24-year history of the race. Her final time of 1:22.26 for seven furlongs was .07 of a second faster than her time last year.

Last year, Shine Again won as the 21-1 outsider in a five-horse field that included Dream Supreme and Spain. Sunday, she was the 3-1 third choice behind three-time Grade 1 winner Raging Fever and Mandy's Gold, who had won four straight including a victory over Shine Again in the Honorable Miss here on Aug. 2.

The track was sloppy for the Honorable Miss. After a day of heavy rains on Saturday, Sunday's card began under muddy conditions, which favored speed. But, the track dried out later in the day and the maintenance crew opened it up prior to the seventh race. It was upgraded to fast prior to the Ballerina.

Mandy's Gold, under Edgar Prado, dueled with Canadian shipper Devastating and James McKnight through fractions of 21.91 seconds and 44.11. John Velazquez had Raging Fever just off the two leaders, ready to pounce. After Mandy's Gold put away Devastating, she opened her lead and Velazquez sent Raging Fever after her, collaring her inside the 70-yard maker. But, Raging Fever could not hold off Shine Again.

Samyn had Shine Again on the inside and in fourth position around the turn. Turning for home, Samyn guided Shine Again into the three-path and he rallied his filly up in the final strides. Shine Again returned $8.80.

"I adore her, I don't think there's anybody better than her," Samyn said.

"She's a pure genuine, great horse. Every time she runs, she will try the best she can."

Velazquez said he didn't want to move his filly as early as he did, but felt that Edgar Prado had plenty of horse.

"I ended up using her a little more than I wanted to to get there, then the other one came and got her,'' Velazquez said. ``If I let her go I don't catch up with her, so I wind up doing a favor for somebody else.''

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