08/23/2007 4:44PM

A Champion Returns


Wait a While's 4-year-old campaign had been a lot like Todd Pletcher's Saratoga -- a fine start followed by a mystifying slump and a long absence from the winner's circle. But then in Thursday's Grade 1-caliber G2 Balston Spa Handicap, it took just 1:40.00 for sweet redemption to arrive for them both.

Wait a While is back, and her exhilirating sweep to a runaway victory was an overdue reminder of why last year she became the first 3-year-old filly awarded the division's Eclipse on the basis of a grass campaign. This is a very special filly when she's right, which she hadn't been since winning the Honey Fox back in March. She was inexplicably dull finishing behind My Tycphoon in both the Jenny Wiley and Just a Game, then got sick when sent to California for the Cash Call Mile.

Today she was fourth early as 7-5 favorite My Tycphoon sat third behind the leaders in a seemingly perfect spot to pounce. But when the real running began on the stetch turn, Wait a While($8.00) looped them all and drew off in her best performance since the Yellow Ribbon 11 months ago.

What a way to return to top form, and what a way for Pletcher to end his dry spell.

--Apparently one pick-six player was smart enough to hit the ALL button in today's finale, and it paid off when rank outsider Judge's Pride wired a field of statebred maidens at 32-1 in the day's fourth (!) 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint. There would have been 33 winners at $1,579 had favored Too Much Zip finished first rather than second. Instead, Mr. (or Ms.) All took the whole $53,717.