06/07/2007 12:00AM

Wait a While gives mile another try


ELMONT, N.Y. - About three hours before he attempts to make history with the potential 3-year-old filly champion of 2007, trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle the 3-year-old filly champion of 2006 in the $300,000 Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park.

Pletcher, who is running Rags to Riches against the boys in the day's featured Belmont Stakes, is using the Grade 2 Just a Game as a bit of a fact-finding mission for Wait a While. Last year, Wait a While won two Grade 1 races at 1 1/4 miles on turf. The Just a Game is run at one mile, a distance she has not raced at since winning a maiden race over this course in fall 2005.

"Her best distance is probably a mile and an eighth to a mile and a quarter, but one of the reasons we decided to stay here and run in here is we're planning to go to the CashCall Mile," said Pletcher, referring to Hollywood Park's $1 million race on July 6. "So shortening her up here hopefully will pay dividends in the next race as well. I think she's handy enough that a mile suits her fine."

Keeneland's Polytrack did not suit Wait a While. The Grade 2 Jenny Wiley Handicap at Keeneland was rained off the turf and moved to the Polytrack. After hopping at the break, Wait a While languished near the back of the pack and finished fifth of six. Pletcher was actually worried that Wait a While would be on the lead that day, and front-runners were getting beaten most of the meet.

"She didn't like it so much that she never got into the bridle," Pletcher said. "Call it a 'Poly-dud' and move on."

Garrett Gomez will ride Wait a While from post 5.

Only four horses entered against Wait a While. My Typhoon won the Jenny Wiley over next-out stakes winner Precious Kitten. She is likely to gain a stalking position, just behind Wait a While.

Take the Ribbon enters the Just a Game off a gritty nose victory over Quite a Bride in the Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs. Trained by Wally Dollase, Take the Ribbon is 3 for 5 at the mile distance. Last September, she finished second behind the Pletcher-trained Magnificent Song in the Grade 1 Garden City at 1 1/8 miles over this course.

Mauralakana and Miss Shop round out the field and are closers in a field void of speed.