11/23/2005 12:00AM

Stellar Jayne seeks to exit with a win


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Stellar Jayne will get a second chance to retire on a winning note Friday when she heads an eight-horse field entered in the Grade 2, $150,000 Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct.

The connections of Stellar Jayne were planning to throw her retirement party last month, after what they hoped was a win in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. But Stellar Jayne's fourth-place finish in that race was unsatisfying for Godolphin Racing, which purchased Stellar Jayne for $3.6 million at auction last November after she finished third in the 2004 BC Distaff.

Stellar Jayne's best success has come when racing on the lead, but in this year's Distaff jockey Frankie Dettori elected to take her off of pacesetter Capeside Lady down the backstretch. Stellar Jayne made a wide move to reach contention but was no match for Pleasant Home, who won by 9 1/4 lengths. Stellar Jayne was beaten 2 1/2 lengths for second by Society Selection, who finished a neck in front of third-place Ashado.

"She was only beat 2 1/2 lengths for show, and she did not exactly pull the best trip,'' said Rick Mettee, the assistant trainer who oversees Godolphin's New York string. "Had we been second or third it would have softened the blow; that was the race we had pointed to all year. She came out of race sound and fresh; we couldn't think of any reason not to run [again]. As sound as she's been, if she goes over there and handles that track I expect her to run well.''

has never run at Aqueduct, but she has enjoyed tremendous success in one-turn races at Belmont Park. Jerry Bailey, a five-time Top Flight winner, is 2 for 2 aboard Stellar Jayne this year and will be back aboard on Friday.

Stellar Jayne, a multiple Grade 1 winner, is the highweight at 123 pounds and will spot the rest of the field 7 to 10 pounds. She is drawn outside several speed horses, including Bohemian Lady and A Song in A Minor.

Trainer John Kimmel won this race three times in four years with Twist Afleet, Flat Fleet Feet, and Catinca. On Friday, he sends out Seeking the Ante, the only 3-year-old in the field. Seeking the Ante won the Iroquois Handicap for New York-breds over a wet track. She would benefit most from a contested pace.

Off their last races, look interesting. Ender's Sister, trained by Rusty Arnold, won a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race over a muddy Keeneland surface by 19 lengths. Last Song, the 2004 Bonnie Miss winner, won a restricted stakes in her first start for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.