08/17/2002 11:00PM

Toner has another good grass filly


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Jimmy Toner said it's premature to put Wonder Again in the same class as Soaring Softly and Memories of Silver, two wonderful turf fillies he trained during the 1990's. But after Wonder Again's 2 1/4-length win in Sunday's $150,000 Lake Placid Handicap at Saratoga, Toner can't help but wonder if he's got another star in his barn.

"She's coming along at a pretty good clip," Toner said in the winner's circle after Wonder Again's stakes debut in the Grade 2 Lake Placid.

Edgar Prado rode Wonder Again for his fourth win on the card. The victory tied Prado with Jerry Bailey, who rode out of town during the weekend, for the lead in the standings with 32 wins apiece.

"Tomorrow is another day," said Prado, who is seeking his first Saratoga riding title. "There's two weeks to go. It's going to be very interesting."

Wonder Again stalked the pacesetter, Miss Marcia, while racing in second down the backstretch in the 1 1/8-mile grass race for 3-year-old fillies. Turing for home, Riskaverse made a threatening move from the outside, but Wonder Again switched into hear gear and drew off in the stretch without any encouragement from Prado's whip.

Riskaverse finished second, 2 1/4 lengths clear of the third-place finisher, Miss Marcia. Kirtle, the favorite, was fourth and was followed under the wire by Tarnished Lady, Maliziosa, Bells for Marlin, Sugar Dipped, and Clefairy.

"The first time I rode her, I liked her a lot," Prado said. "We thought she was of this caliber to run in a stakes and take it one step farther."

Wonder Again ($11) covered the distance in 1:49.24 over a yeilding course.

Toner, who won the Lake Placid with Memories of Silver in 1996, said he would consider the Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park on Sept. 8 for Wonder Again's next start. Toner's long-range goal for the Silver Hawk filly, who is owned by John and Joan Phillips, is the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge at Keeneland on Oct. 12. Toner won the Queen Elizabeth with Memories of Silver in 1996.