11/25/2005 12:00AM

Menifeeque looks ready to fill some big shoes


MIAMI - Trainer Marty Wolfson lost the best mare in his barn when Pampered Princess was retired to stud following Thursday's second-place finish behind Indian Vale in the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs. But he may have another one to replace her next season the way Menifeeque performed winning the $40,000 Mia's Hope Stakes here Friday.

Menifeeque gave Wolfson plenty of reason to look forward to next season after she dug in to defeat Pitanga by a neck in the Mia's Hope. A daughter of Menifee, Menifeeque benefited from a well-judged ride by jockey Jorge Chavez, drawing off to a comfortable lead into the stretch before holding off Pitanga's final surge.

The victory was the first in five starts this season for Menifeeque, who is owned by Live Oak Plantation.

Menifeeque was one of two winners on the day for Wolfson and Chavez, who also combined to capture the 10th race with the Argentinian-bred Potra Classic.

Pampered Princess ran a courageous race behind the once-beaten Indian Vale in the Falls City, racing wide throughout and under a drive for most of the final half-mile. Despite the tough trip, she continued gamely to easily finish second.

"She ran very well considering she gave the winner eight pounds and really didn't like the racetrack, as deep and loose as it was," said Wolfson. "She just labored all the way. She was at her best when the track is packed tight. Besides, she got beat by the filly that I think will win the Breeders' Cup Distaff next year."

Pampered Princess retired in the best form of her career, having captured the Grade 1 Spinster in her previous start. Owned by Martin Cherry, Pampered Princess concluded her career with earnings of $786,000.

B. B. Best back to sprinting

B. B. Best will be favored to rebound from a disappointing effort in the Carl G. Rose Classic when he turns back to a sprint for Sunday's $40,000 Radar Love Stakes.

B. B. Best tired badly through the stretch to finish sixth as the 2-1 favorite in the 1 1/8-mile Carl G. Rose. The son of Yes It's True had returned from a 5 1/2-month layoff to finish second, beaten a neck after an unlucky trip, in the Grade 3 Spend a Buck Handicap on Oct. 15.

The 6 1/2-furlong Radar Love will be B. B. Best's first start at under a mile since he finished fourth behind Lost in the Fog in the Sunshine Millions Dash on Jan. 29. B. B. Best won the six-furlong Dr. Fager Stakes here at 2.

B. B. Best figures to sit off what could be a contentious early pace in the Radar Love, with Gregson, Anjiz Crypto, Bow Out, and Champagne Account in the lineup.

Gregson may be the quickest of that group. He comes off a second-place finish in the five-furlong Hooting Star Stakes, but he has yet to win beyond six furlongs. Anjiz Crypto is coming off a game victory in the seven-furlong Go to Will Stakes, but has yet to win a race when outrun to the early lead.