08/23/2007 12:00AM

Wait a While shows championship form


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Todd Pletcher has been trying to tell anyone who would listen that his Eclipse Award-winning filly Wait a While was just as good this year as she was last year, despite the fact she had not won a race since March. Now everybody will listen.

Wait a While ($8) proved her trainer's assessment to be 100 percent correct by exploding through the final furlong to a decisive 2 1/4-length victory over Vacare in Thursday's Grade 2, $200,000 Ballston Spa Handicap at Saratoga. My Typhoon, winner of the Grade 1 Diana four weeks earlier, finished sixth as the 7-5 favorite in a scratched-reduced field of seven fillies and mares.

Wait a While snapped a 30-race losing streak for Pletcher at this Saratoga meet.

Wait a While, voted the nation's top 3-year-old filly of 2006, launched her 4-year-old campaign by winning Gulfstream Park's Grade 3 Honey Fox Handicap but then disappointed as a heavy favorite in her last two starts, the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland and the Grade 2 Just a Game Handicap at Belmont, both won by My Typhoon. But Pletcher felt the daughter of Maria's Mon had legitimate excuses for both losses.

"She just didn't like the Polytrack at Keeneland, and in her last start we sort of underestimated My Typhoon and let her get away with just too slow a pace," Pletcher said.

Wait a While relaxed nicely for jockey Garrett Gomez off a more legitimate pace in the 1 1/16-mile Ballston Spa, racing in fifth position until launching her bid leaving the backstretch. Wait a While rallied four wide off the final turn, then surged by the leaders with an impressive turn of foot through midstretch. Her final time of 1:40.00 missed the course record by just .08 of a second.

Vacare finished 3 1/2 lengths in front of stablemate Meribel.

"Down the backstretch she looked too relaxed, but that's just maturity," Pletcher said of Wait a While. "Everything hasn't gone exactly right for her until today, but this race showed she's as good as she ever was. I still think she's the best 4-year-old filly on grass. Maybe the best filly or mare on grass period."