08/23/2008 11:00PM

O'Neill back for another spin


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Doug O'Neill will seek his second straight victory in Saratoga's Grade 1 Ballerina when he ships in Mistical Plan for the $250,000 race for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.

Last year, O'Neill won it with Maryfield, who would go on to win the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint and earn an Eclipse Award as champion filly or mare sprinter. Last year, O'Neill shipped Maryfield cross country each time to run. This year, O'Neill opened a division at Delaware Park, where Mistical Plan heads his 15-horse stable.

Mistical Plan was an extremely sharp winner of last month's Grade 1 Princess Rooney at Calder, a race in which she pressed the speedy Dream Rush, then drew clear turning for home. She won by 5 3/4 lengths and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 108.

"Just to sprint like that, run that fast and be right on top of a pretty quick pace and to find another gear," O'Neill said when asked what impressed him most about the Princess Rooney. "We've always been high on this filly; that was by far the most wowing race for us in her career."

O'Neill believes Mistical Plan is versatile enough to be on or near the pace. Cornelio Velasquez will ride from post 5.

Intangaroo has won Grade 1 races on synthetic surfaces and dirt this year. She finished fourth in the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap last out at Hollywood Park. Trainer Gary Sherlock said his late-running filly was compromised by a speed-biased track and a lack of pace that day.

Sugar Swirl and Jibboom make up an uncoupled entry from trainer Bobby Frankel. Sugar Swirl has won 4 of her last 5 starts, including all three graded sprint stakes at Gulfstream Park during the winter. Her lone loss this year came when she finished fifth behind Intangaroo in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill.

Jockey Javier Castellano said Sugar Swirl took him to the lead in that race and she got caught in a speed duel.

Jibboom will be making her first start on dirt. She won the Raven Run last October over Keeneland's synthetic surface and was beaten a half-length in a turf allowance here on Aug. 1.

"I didn't think she wanted to be on the lead," Frankel said. "I thought it was a good race, a good prep. We got to try her on the dirt - her pedigree doesn't say no."

Baroness Thatcher and Miraculous Miss, second and third in this race last year, Leah's Secret, and Bayou's Lassie complete the field.