Updated on 09/16/2011 8:06AM

Raging Fever tops Ballerina

Raging Fever takes a timeout from her stall toy Thursday at Saratoga. The multiple Grade 1 winner will be turning back from a 1 1/16-mile victory in Sunday's seven-furlong Ballerina.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A year ago, Shine Again caught everyone by surprise when she won the Grade 1 Ballerina at 21-1 in a field that included 1-2 favorite Dream Supreme and the 2000 Breeders' Cup Distaff winner, Spain.

On Sunday at Saratoga, Shine Again seeks a Ballerina repeat. Shine Again, whose odds won't be as generous as last year, will have her work cut out for her in the $250,000 Ballerina, which drew eight fillies and mares, including multiple Grade 1 winner Raging Fever.

In her last start, Shine Again finished second to Mandy's Gold in the six-furlong Honorable Miss, which was run in the slop. Shine Again, a 5-year-old trained by Allen Jerkens, was beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Mandy's Gold, the pacesetter.

Jean-Luc Samyn, Shine Again's regular rider, said Mandy's Gold had an advantage. "You simply could not make up any ground on horses that day," Samyn said.

"It looked like some horses could beat the horses on the lead at the eighth pole, but never got by. Knowing that, [Shine Again] ran a heck of a race."

The added eighth of a mile in the seven-furlong Ballerina should benefit Shine Again, who is 2 for 2 at the distance. Shine Again drew post 3 and receives five pounds from Raging Fever, the 121-pound highweight.

Raging Fever could be tough to beat. A multiple stakes winner, she has won or finished second in each of her last seven starts. Trainer Mark Hennig gave Raging Fever a freshening after the filly won the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont Park on June 22.

Like he did with Gygistar, who was scheduled to run in Saturday's Grade 1 King's Bishop, Hennig is dropping Raging Fever back in distance after winning a 1 1/16-mile stakes.

"She's probably [best] at seven-eighths to a mile," Hennig said. "She's doing really well. Coming off longer races, she could be a little off [the pace]. I don't know, going seven-eighths, if you want to go wire to wire."

Mandy's Gold set a strong pace in the Honorable Miss on her way to her fourth consecutive win in a stakes. Mandy's Gold trainer, Michael Gorham, said the filly has shown no signs of tailing off after stringing together four top effects. She earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in each of her last two starts.

"I'll tell you what amazes me is that she comes out of the races really good and gets a little better each time," Gorham said.

The white-hot Edgar Prado, who leads the standings at the meet, rides Mandy's Gold.

There is enough speed in here to set up things for a closer like Cat and the Hat, who was beaten a head by Mandy's Gold in the Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap on June 8.

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