02/26/2005 12:00AM

Miss Fortunate takes Rare Treat

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Miss Fortunate, Shaun Bridgmohan up, takes care of her opponents in the Rare Treat at Aqueduct.

Despite racing widest on both turns, Miss Fortunate proved much the best in Saturday's 33rd running of the $75,000-added Rare Treat Handicap at Aqueduct.

Coming off a sharp second-place finish to the unbeaten Saintliness in the Affectionately Handicap in her previous start, Miss Fortunate raced three wide around the clubhouse turn while trailing in a field of five older fillies and mares. Miss Fortunate, however, crept closer to the leaders down the backstretch under confident handling from Shaun Bridgmohan, and overpowered Say Hey Willie and Rare Gift on the outside once straightened away into the stretch.

"You've just got to get her in a spot where she's comfortable and can win, and she'll do the rest," Bridgmohan said. "I just wanted to be in a nice striking position coming off the turn."

The Bill Mott-trained Miss Fortunate was 2 3/4 lengths clear at the wire, after running the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.17 over a fast inner track.

"She fits the older filly and mare program here this time of year," assistant trainer Arthur Tsiamis said. "It was a good move bringing her to New York for the winter."

Lady Libby rallied on the outside to nose out the 6-5 favorite, Rare Gift for second. Say Hey Willie faded to fourth, and longshot Becky in Pink completed the order of finish.

Miss Fortunate returned $5.20 to win as the second choice. A 5-year-old mare by Deputy Minister, she earned $48,045 for Lyon Stables.