08/23/2007 11:00PM

Longer distance no problem for Miss Shop


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - After Miss Shop got whipped six lengths by Ginger Punch in the Grade 1 Go for Wand at 1 1/8 miles last month, trainer Allen Jerkens wasn't considering stretching her out to 1 1/4 miles in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign.

But jockey Javier Castellano told Jerkens after the Go for Wand that he thought the added distance would be no problem for Miss Shop. Castellano was proven right as he guided Miss Shop from last to a three-length victory in Friday's $400,000 Personal Ensign at Saratoga. Unbridled Belle, the 8-5 favorite, finished second by one length over Indian Vale.

The victory was the ninth in 25 starts for Miss Shop, a 4-year-old daughter of Deputy Minister owned by Hobeau Farm. Her $240,000 first-place prize pushed her career earnings to $1,054,038.

"She never showed that she wanted to go quite that far," said Jerkens, who won this race for a third time. "[Castellano] told me last time, 'Don't worry about her, she'll get the distance.' She trained good, she ran good, and he rode her great. It's just amazing; she's run a lot of times for a 4-year-old in this day and age, and today was her best race."

Castellano allowed Miss Shop to linger in the back of the pack while Sugar Shake set fractions of 23.64 seconds, 47.70, and 1:11.81 while being tracked by Teammate. Indian Vale raced in third, and took the lead at the quarter pole.

Castellano launched a bid midway around the turn, came four wide for the stretch drive, and overtook Indian Vale inside the eighth pole. Miss Shop covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.48 and returned $11.40 to win.

"As soon as she relaxed with me the first quarter-mile I thought the race was over," Castellano said. "Today, she settled down beautiful. She started picking it up a little early today. I was worried about making the lead a little early in the stretch, but I got so much horse and she felt so good today."

* Altesse ($3.80) overtook pacesetting A True Pussycat at the eighth pole and drew clear to a 2o1/4-length win in the $82,000 Heavenly Prize Stakes. Altesse, trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Edgar Prado, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.39.