09/06/2007 12:00AM

B. B. Best, Big Lover meet again


MIAMI - A year ago, B. B. Best and Big Lover finished first and second in the $50,000 Ambehaving Stakes.

On Saturday, the pair will go at it again in this year's renewal of the 1 1/16-mile overnight stakes, which drew a bigger and deeper field that also includes local mainstays Supervisor, Rehoboth and Too Many Toyz, along with such up-and-coming 3-year-olds as Hal's My Hope, Finallymadeit, and Pop Goes the Tiger.

B. B. Best, trained by Eddie Plesa Jr. for his wife, Laurie, and Bea Oxenberg, led throughout to post a 2 1/2-length decision over Big Lover in the 2006 Ambehaving. B. B. Best did not win again until last month, when he again defeated Big Lover under third-level optional claiming conditions, cruising to a 14 3/4-length triumph. The 106 Beyer Figure B. B. Best received for that performance eclipsed his previous best of 102 for a third-place finish in the Artax Handicap earlier this year.

Big Lover, among the leaders of the local handicap division in 2006, is still seeking his first win this season. Now 4, he will run for new connections on Saturday, having been claimed by owner-trainer Dan Hurtak for $40,000 from in last start.

B. B. Best figures to have his hands full making the lead as comfortably as he did in either of his last two victories, with speedsters like Finallymadeit and Firebrook in the lineup.

Finallymadeit will stretch out around two turns for the first time, and while a question mark at the distance, he should find himself on or with the pace. He comes off a 2 1/4-length tally in the six-furlong Major Moran Stakes.

Firebrook has won each of his last three starts, all sprints, in wire-to-wire fashion, but will get both a class and distance check in this field.

Hal's My Hope has not started since finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Barbaro Stakes July 15. In his last appearance at Calder, he was dominant in the Unbridled Stakes.

"He had a few little issues and just needed some time off," said Barry Rose, who trains Hal's My Hope for the Rose Family Stable.

A torrid pace could aid Rehoboth and the old veteran Supervisor, both of whom are seeking their first win of the year.