08/13/2005 12:00AM

B. B. Best comeback on target


MIAMI - B. B. Best, one of the stars of the 2004 Florida Stallion Stakes and among the top 3-year-olds in the area this winter, continues to train forwardly for his much-anticipated return.

B. B. Best captured both the Dr. Fager and In Reality divisions of the Stallion Stakes last year. A son of Yes It's True, B. B. Best was also third behind High Fly in both the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream over the winter. After finishing sixth as the favorite in the Grade 3 Withers Mile on April 30, B. B. Best was given a little break by trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.

"He's always had one testicle that never descended all the way, and it seemed like it was causing him some irritation, so we decided to give him a little time because he had a tough campaign, and took the opportunity during that break to take the testicle out," Plesa said.

B. B. Best has responded by turning in three bullet works, including five furlongs in 1:00 here Saturday, Plesa said he is looking forward to the remainder of B. B. Best's 3-year-old campaign, but has not picked a definite spot for his return.

"He couldn't be training better," said Plesa. "As far as I can see he's training as well as he ever has."

Stolen Prayer's goal is Susan's Girl

Plesa is also awaiting the return of his latest top 2-year-old prospect Stolen Prayer, who has not started since finishing fifth in Belmont's Fashion Stakes on June 9. Stolen Prayer scored a 15-length maiden allowance win here April 26 in her only other start.

"She shin-bucked as bad as any 2-year-old I've had in the last two or three years after the race in New York," Plesa said. "She's doing fine now, but I haven't really set her down yet in the morning. Hopefully we'll be able to have her ready in time to run in the second leg of the Stallion Stakes," he said, referring to the $125,000 Susan's Girl on Sept. 3.

Apprentice Mellad gets fifth win

Apprentice jockey Bobby Mellad lost 3 of his 10-pound allowance after registering his fifth career victory Monday aboard Miss Bradford Co.

Mellad, 22, is a native of Jamaica. He began his local career working for trainer David Braddy and is among the more promising young riders on the grounds. His book is being handled by Larry Kelly.