10/23/2002 11:00PM

Raging Fever vs. Shine Again, again


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Familiar rivals Raging Fever and Shine Again meet again in Saturday's $150,000 First Flight Handicap at Aqueduct.

The Grade 2 First Flight and the Grade 3 Sport Page are part of a five-race card at the Big A on Breeders' Cup Day. First post is 11 a.m. Following Aqueduct's live program, the simulcast of the Breeders' Cup from Arlington Park will be shown.

Seven fillies and mares entered the First Flight. Raging Fever is the 119-pound highweight of the seven-furlong race.

The track might be wet on Saturday, which would favor Raging Fever, who won the Bed o' Roses here in the slop in the spring.

Between them, Raging Fever and Shine Again have won $2,171,585 and 21 races. Both are Grade 1 winners and undefeated at Aqueduct.

When Raging Fever and Shine Again last met in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont earlier this month, neither won. Raging Fever finished second behind Nasty Storm and Shine Again was third, less than a length behind Raging Fever.

In August, Shine Again, trained by Allen Jerkens, won the Grade 1 Ballerina and beat Raging Fever, the runner-up, by a half-length.

"Raging Fever has been brilliant; maybe she was more brilliant earlier on," Jerkens said. "Certainly, both horses seem evenly matched, but there are other horses to worry about."

Jean-Luc Samyn was named on Shine Again, who won the First Flight last year. Shine Again, a stalker, drew post 5.

Jerkens also entered Shiny Band, with Samyn named. Shiny Band has a better wet-track record than Shine Again.

Raging Fever and Redhead Riot are the main speed.

Mark Hennig, who trains Raging Fever, said she didn't have a good trip in the Gallant Bloom because of her rail post. Raging Fever, racing on the inside, pressed the pace, which was set by Harmony Lodge.

"The post killed her," Hennig said. "The 1-hole didn't leave her many options. [Harmony Lodge] held her on the rail and we almost bumped the rail coming out of the turn."

Raging Fever, who has lost her last three starts as the favorite, drew post 7 and will be ridden by Aaron Gryder.

The versatile Nonsuch Bay is running in a sprint for the time since winning the Grade 2 Nassau County in May. In June, Nonsuch Bay became a Grade 1 winner in the 1 1/8-mile Mother Goose.

Tugger and Judge's Song complete the First Flight field.

Bowman's Band sprints

Trainer Michael Matz and owner Martin Schwartz won Wednesday's opening-day stakes, the Grade 3 Discovery, with Saint Marden. Now, they have a live runner in Bowman's Band for Saturday's $100,000-added Sport Page.

Bowman's Band, the 118-pound highweight, is running in a sprint for the first time since winning an optional claimer in Florida over the winter. Bowman's Band has won more than $300,000 this year and has picked up checks in several graded races.

Bowman's Band drew the outside post 9 in the seven-furlong Sport Page. Javier Castellano rides.

"Obviously, there will be horses with more early speed than him," Matz said, "but he should be running pretty good at the end."

Saint Verre, who won the Cliff Hanger at The Meadowlands in the slop on Oct. 11, looms the main speed.

Voodoo is coming off a third in the Grade 1 Vosburgh, where he pushed the pace set by the winner, Bonapaw, who is entered in the BC Sprint.

"He did the best he could; he couldn't stay with that pace," Voodoo's trainer, Jimmy Jerkens, said. "It was a slow pace for [Bonapaw] and he had a lot left."

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