08/17/2006 11:00PM

Wait a While dominates

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The match-up between Wait a While and Lady of Venice was a lot more interesting on paper than it turned out to be on the racetrack.

Wait a While, under Garrett Gomez, took over from pacesetting Art Show at the quarter pole, then powered home an emphatic 4 3/4-length winner over Lady of Venice in the Grade 2, $150,000 for 3-year-old turf fillies before 24,246 at Saratoga.

It was 1 1/2 lengths back to Dancing Band in third. Art Show and Diamond Spirit completed the order of finish.

It was the third consecutive dominant win for Wait a While, who was coming off a 4 1/2-length score in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park in July and a 4 1/2-length win in the off-the-turf Sands Point Stakes at Belmont Park in June.

Wait a While, a daughter of Maria's Mon owned by the Arindel Farm and trained by Todd Pletcher, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.59 over a firm inner turf course, missing the course record by just .37 of a second. She returned $4.10 as the favorite.

"It was a pretty dominant performance," said Pletcher, who won his seventh graded stakes of the meet. "I knew she was doing well, and we gave her plenty of time after the California race. You don't see horses in turf races dominate that often like she has. All three of her turf races haven't even been close."

Wait a While is now 3 for 3 on turf and 6 for 11 overall. She has earned $978,087.

Gomez was able to get Wait a While outside of Art Show before the field hit the first turn. Julien Leparoux had Lady of Venice right behind Wait a While in between horses but couldn't keep up with Wait a While when the real running started.

"No excuse today," said Patrick Biancone, trainer of Lady of Venice. "He got a perfect spot behind the horse to beat, when they accelerated the other one accelerated a bit faster, that's all.''

Pletcher said he would point Wait a While to the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 14 and either the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf or Breeders' Cup Mile.