09/10/2003 11:00PM

Time grows short for Shine Again


ELMONT, N.Y. - Shine Again, who is approaching the end of her racing career, looks to add another stakes victory to her resume in Saturday's $100,000-added Floral Park Handicap at Belmont Park.

Shine Again, a 6-year-old mare with $1.2 million in earnings and a record of 14-8-7 from 32 starts, likely will be retired at the end of the season, according to her trainer, Allen Jerkens. After the Grade 3 Floral Park, she probably will run in the First Flight on Oct. 25, a race she won the last two years.

Jerkens, understandably, will be sorry to see Shine Again go to the breeding shed.

"She did good for so long," Jerkens said. "That accounts for a lot."

Shine Again, the 120-pound highweight, and six other fillies and mares were entered in the six-furlong Floral Park. Gold Mover, who won the race two years ago, is coupled with Raging Fever. Jerry Bailey is named on both, so only one can start.

As of Thursday, trainer Mark Hennig hadn't decided whether he would run Gold Mover or Raging Fever. Gold Mover has been in good form while Raging Fever has tailed off some from last year.

Most of the runners possess early speed, which could set things up nicely for Shine Again, who likes to stalk and pounce.

Shine Again is coming off a trio of second-place finishes as the favorite. After winning the Grade 2 Genuine Risk here in May, Shine Again finished second in the Grade 2 Vagrancy, Grade 3 Honorable Miss, and Grade 1 Ballerina, a race she won in 1999 and 2000.

In this year's Ballerina, Shine Again, the 120-pound highweight, was beaten a nose by the pacesetter, Harmony Lodge, who carried five pounds fewer.

"She just got beat by a horse that was getting good," Jerkens said. "She won't be too far back [Saturday]. She'll come when you ask her to. She always has."

Shine Again, who will be ridden by Jose Santos, drew post 3. Saturday's forecast calls for rain, which shouldn't compromise Shine Again's chances.

Jerkens also entered Lilah, who is not coupled with Shine Again and is taking a big step up in class.

Gold Mover, 5 for 9 at the Floral Park distance, is a familiar rival of Shine Again and probably her toughest opponent, if she starts.

Bauhauser, a group winner in Argentina, has run well in two starts in this country, including a win in a classified allowance race at Saratoga. Forest Heiress and Literary Light complete the field.