06/05/2003 11:00PM

Shine Again tough again


ELMONT, N.Y. - No one would have been surprised had the connections of Shine Again elected to breed her following a most successful 5-year-old campaign last year. After all, she is a two-time winner of the Grade 1 Ballerina Handicap and was just a few thousand dollars shy of being a millionaire.

But Mrs. Allaire duPont elected to keep Shine Again in training and thus far has been rewarded with two victories - including a four-length score in last month's Grade 2 Genuine Risk Handicap. Sunday, Shine Again will seek her eighth career stakes victory when she heads an eight-horse field entered in the Grade 2, $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park. The Vagrancy is one of three stakes on a nine-race card that includes a pair of $250,000 races for 3-year-old progeny of New York stallions.

Allen Jerkens has trained plenty of accomplished fillies and mares in his Hall of Fame career including champion Sky Beauty. Few, if any, though, have been more consistent than Shine Again, a daughter of Wild Again. In addition to winning 14 of 29 starts, she has finished worse than third only three times.

"She's really genuine," Jerkens said. "Mrs. duPont enjoys having something running; she's got plenty of broodmares and she thought [Shine Again] could run another year. She likes to train. Most horses who like to train get to be good."

Jerkens believes the key to Shine Again's success has been her ability to rate.

Shine Again is the 121-pound highweight Sunday, breaking from the rail under Jean-Luc Samyn.

Trainer Mark Hennig entered both Raging Fever and Gold Mover, but likely will only run Gold Mover after that mare drew post 6. Raging Fever, who drew post 2, will likely be pointed to the Ogden Phipps on June 21.

Gold Mover finished ahead of Shine Again the two times they met last year, but gets three pounds from Shine Again Sunday. Gold Mover comes out of a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff, a race in which she was taken outside for the stretch, while Sightseek rallied in the spot Gold Mover vacated to get the win. Jerry Bailey rides Gold Mover.

Shawklit Mint and Harmony Lodge are also speed horses, but are not certain to run. Shawklit Mint was entered for a stakes on Belmont Day, and trainer Todd Pletcher said he may wait for a race next weekend at Monmouth for Harmony Lodge.

Slews Final Answer, who is 2 for 2 at 6 1/2 furlongs and who gets eight pounds from Shine Again, is a live longshot for trainer Bill Mott.