Updated on 09/16/2011 6:51AM

This time, zero in on 'Princess'


JAMAICA, N.Y. - People's Princess, who made up all but one length of a six-length deficit to Zonk in the final furlong of last month's Affectionately Handicap, gets another crack at Zonk on Monday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Rare Treat Handicap at Aqueduct.

A field of seven fillies and mares was entered for the Rare Treat, but handicappers figure to zero in on Zonk and People's Princess in the nine-furlong race. The extra distance and the fact she now has a race under her belt could give the edge to People's Princess, trained by Bill Mott.

In the 1 1/16-mile Affectionately, People's Princess was making her first start in 106 days, or since she won the Long Look Handicap at The Meadowlands. People's Princess dropped 15 lengths off the pace before making her move in the Affectionately. Seth Benzel, Mott's assistant, said he was concerned when he saw his filly that far back, but was soon put at ease when she began to kick in under Norberto Arroyo Jr.

"When she went to make her move, she made a great run at that mare," Benzel said. "She was coming off a layoff, so it was positive the run she did put in. We've been able to take it a little easier with her going into this race. We were aggressive with her coming up to the last race. I'm not going to ask Norberto to change anything."

The nine furlongs could be a question mark for Zonk, although the move she made around the turn in the Affectionately under Chuck Lopez was most impressive.

"I think she'll get the mile and an eighth no problem," trainer John Servis said. "I don't think Chucky expected her to explode the way she did. I told him she's not that kind of filly, she's kind of a grinding filly that just wears them down. If he can lay close and sit a little bit longer, who knows? She might go a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half."

The most intriguing member of the field is Rift Valley, a daughter of Gulch out of the 1990 champion 2-year-old filly Meadow Star. She is 3 for 3 over the inner track, including a pair of allowance wins in her last two starts. She gets in with just 112 pounds under Jean-Luc Samyn.

A.O.L. Hayes, Kris Pit, Poivre, and Pocus Hocus complete the field.

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