08/26/2002 12:00AM

Shine Again repeat victor in Ballerina


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Duplicating her sterling performance in last year's Ballerina, Shine Again persevered through the stretch under Jean-Luc Samyn to run down the classy duo of Raging Fever and Mandy's Gold and win the Grade 1, $250,000 Ballerina Handicap by a half-length. Raging Fever, the 6-5 favorite, was second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Mandy's Gold.

Shine Again, trained by Allen Jerkens, became the first repeat winner of the Ballerina in the 24-year history of the race.

Last year, Shine Again was a 21-1 outsider in a field that included Dream Supreme and Spain. Sunday, she was the 3-1 third choice behind three-time Grade 1 winner Raging Fever and Mandy's Gold, who had won four straight.

As Mandy's Gold dueled with Devastating through the first half-mile, John Velazquez had Raging Fever just off the two, ready to pounce. After Mandy's Gold put away Devastating, Velazquez sent Raging Fever after her, collaring her inside the 70-yard maker. But Raging Fever could not hold off Shine Again. Turning for home, Samyn guided Shine Again ($8.80) from the inside into the three path and rallied his filly up in the final strides.