04/16/2003 11:00PM

Shine Again begins year in allowance


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Shine Again, winner of the Grade 1 Ballerina Handicap at age 4 and 5, will make her 6-year-old debut Saturday in a money allowance race at Aqueduct.

Owned by Mrs. Richard duPont, Shine Again has not raced since winning the Grade 2 First Flight Handicap over this track last Oct. 26. Shine Again, trained by Allen Jerkens, is 4 for 4 over Aqueduct's main track, including three allowance victories at six furlongs, the distance of Saturday's race.

After a freshening at duPont's farm, Shine Again joined Jerkens at Gulfstream in February. She has been training regularly since March and worked twice within four days this week at Belmont. Monday, Shine Again worked five furlongs in 1:01.74 and Thursday blew out a half-mile in 47.65 seconds, the fastest of 16 moves at the distance.

"She blew out nicely today,'' said Jerkens, who won two races Thursday. "They put this extra race on so I thought this was a good chance to get her started. She didn't go that fast Monday. She looks good bodily, as good as she ever did.''

Jerkens said he hopes to use Saturday's allowance race as stepping-stone to the $150,000 Genuine Risk Handicap May 11 at Belmont. Last year, Shine Again finished second to Xtra Heat in the Genuine Risk.

Saturday, Shine Again must concede seven to 14 pounds to her five rivals, but should get a good stalking trip from post 4 under jockey Jean-Luc Samyn.

Vesta, a multiple stakes winner at Pimlico last year, tries to rebound following a last-place finish in the Primonetta Stakes at that track two weeks ago. She had been battling a lung infection prior to that race so she may be excused for that performance.

Fresh Tracks could be the one to catch. Her trainer, Steve Young, is 3 for 4 at this meet.

Yell works toward Oaks start

Regardless of what trainer Shug McGaughey decides to do with Storm Flag Flying, he will have at least one runner in the Kentucky Oaks. Yell, the Davona Dale Stakes winner who finished fourth in the Ashland, was confirmed for the Oaks after she worked four furlongs in a bullet 46.71 seconds Thursday at Belmont Park.

"She worked faster than I wanted her to, but she did fine,'' McGaughey said. "I think she is doing good.''

McGaughey said he believes the Ashland was simply a throw out, especially since Yell broke slowly, a detriment over the speed-favoring Keeneland surface.

"Even if we got away good at Keeneland the track was going to compromise us," McGaughey said. "If we get her to break okay and settle early, she'll be running at the end.''

Yell would leave for Louisville April 30, just two days before the Oaks.

Ellie's Moment gets blinkers for Sixty Sails

Ellie's Moment, winner of the Rare Treat Handicap and runner-up in the Next Move, will make her next start in the Grade 3, $250,000 Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne April 26, trainer Jimmy Toner said Thursday.

Toner will equip Ellie's Moment, a 5-year-old daughter of Kris S., with blinkers for the first time in the Sixty Sails. Wednesday, Ellie's Moment worked four furlongs in 48.16 seconds while wearing blinkers for the first time.

While Toner doesn't believe Ellie's Moment would have beaten Smok'n Frolic in the Next Move, he was concerned that she didn't maintain a straight path through the stretch.

"She wasn't going to beat Smok'n Frolic but she raced like a snake,'' Toner said. "I know it's unusual to put blinkers on a 5-year-old but I think it's been a matter of the horses she was running against she could get away with it; now that she's running against tougher you can't play around. It's one of those things where if it works you're a genius if not, you're like, 'What did you do that for?' "

* Puzzlement, stakes-placed on dirt, may try the turf in next Saturday's Fort Marcy Handicap, trainer Allen Jerkens said. Thursday, Puzzlement worked five furlongs in 1:01.02 over Belmont's main track.

* Roar Emotion, last year's Demoiselle Stakes winner, is entered as a main-track-only runner in Saturday's eighth race, a second-level allowance race scheduled for one mile on turf. If the race comes off the turf, Roar Emotion would use the race as a prep for next month's Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico.

* There will be no racing at Aqueduct Easter Sunday. Entries for Wednesday's card will be taken Saturday.