07/29/2003 11:00PM

Shine Again gets a shot at revenge


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Allen Jerkens, who has made a career out of upsetting heavy favorites in graded stakes, had the tables turned on him last month when Shine Again, the 7-10 favorite, was upset by Shawklit Mint in the Grade 2 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park.

Friday, Shine Again and Shawklit Mint meet again and will be joined in the starting gate by multiple stakes winners Smok'n Frolic and Raging Fever and two others in the Grade 3, $100,000 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga. The Honorable Miss, run at six furlongs, is the local prep for the Aug. 24 Ballerina Handicap, a Grade 1, seven-furlong race that Shine Again has won the last two years.

Despite a field of only three in the Vagrancy, Shine Again was in trouble down the backside, as Jerry Bailey, aboard Gold Mover, had Shine Again and Jean-Luc Samyn boxed in. Meanwhile, Shawklit Mint, a confirmed wet-track lover, splashed her way to a front-running victory under Richard Migliore.

Jerkens did not want to revisit the Vagrancy, a race about which he was visibly upset afterward. Jerkens said he could have run Shine Again back in the Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder on July 12, but wanted a fresh horse for the late summer and fall.

"You can't keep pressing them all the time," Jerkens said.

Shine Again, the 120-pound highweight, should benefit from drawing post 5 and from what should be a lively pace.

Shawklit Mint, who ran ninth in the Princess Rooney, figures to be on the lead, along with Raging Fever and possibly Smok'n Frolic. Trainer Pat Reynolds said Shawklit Mint was just "spinning her wheels" in the Princess Rooney and calls the race a throw-out. Reynolds said Shawklit Mint's victory in the Vagrancy, her first graded stakes score, was not a fluke.

"That filly ran racehorse time," Reynolds said of Shawklit Mint's final time of 1:15.38. "Look at her race record, nobody ever gave her anything.''

Raging Fever is 2 for 2 at six furlongs, but has not run the distance since winning the First Lady Handicap at Gulfstream in January 2002. As a 2-year-old, Raging Fever won the Grade 2 Schuylerville here by 9 1/4 lengths in the slop. She gets a switch to Jerry Bailey but will have to use her speed after drawing the rail.

Smok'n Frolic has not won a sprint race since taking the five-furlong Fashion Stakes at Belmont in 2001. Her connections are backing her up in distance in hopes of getting her a Grade 1 victory in the Ballerina and are using the Honorable Miss as a prep.

Willa on the Move and Redhead Riot complete the field.