Favored Shine Again Tops Vagrancy Cast

(from Belmont park report)
The road to amassing more than $1 million wasn't easy, but Shine Again reached that milestone four months into her 6-year-old season. She did it the hard way, grinding out one big performance after another.

Currently, her career slate stands at 14-5-7 from 29 starts. She has only finished worse than third three times.

Sunday afternoon as Belmont Stakes Weekend closes, Shine Again starts as the high weight and horse to beat in the $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) at six and one half furlongs. For a change, this daughter of Wild Again will break from the gate the shortest price entrant of the eight-horse field. Remarkably, the public has made her their favorite just three times in 16 stakes appearances. It's taken them a long time to catch on.

Carded as the eighth race, the Vagrancy is the feature on a nine-race card that also includes the inaugural runnings of the New York-bred restricted Cab Calloway and Statue of Liberty divisions of the New York Stallion Series. Both are at 1 1/6 mile and carry purses of $250,000.

Bred and owned by Bohemia Stable, Shine Again drew the rail under her regular rider Jean-Luc Samyn. She is undefeated in a pair of starts on the year, having won a money allowance and Belmont's Genuine Risk (gr. II).

"It's hard not to like her," Shine Again's trainer, H. Allen Jerkens said. "She's been so kind. She's one of my favorites."

Shine Again, third to the Eclipse Award-winning Xtra Heat in this race a year ago, owns enough tactical speed to stay in touch with the leaders early on. A few strides off the far turn, however, she unleashes what has been her signature closing punch. No horse has been able withstand Shine Again's late presence in three consecutive races dating back to October.

"She's superb," said Samyn, who gets aboard Shine Again almost every morning. "I adore her. She's a purely genuine great horse. She runs the best she can every time."

Shine Again, a seven-time stakes winner, carries 121 pounds in the Vagrancy. She spots her foes three to 10 pounds.

Trainer Mark Hennig entered millionaires Gold Mover and Raging Fever, but with Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey named on both, only one will start.

At six and a half furlongs, Gold Mover looks stronger than Raging Fever. Now 5, Gold Mover has been one of the toughest sprinting females based on the east coast over the last couple of seasons. Overall, she has won 12 races, 10 of which are stakes. Most recently, this daughter of Gold Fever checked in a well beaten second behind Sightseek in Churchill Downs' Humana Distaff (gr. I) on May 3. Sightseek is currently regarded as one of racing's leading females.

Gold Mover was assigned 118 pounds.

Raging Fever has won 11 of 22 career starts and is a multiple grade I winner over Belmont Park's main track. Also a 5-year-old, Raging Fever notched the 10th stakes victory of her career in Aqueduct's Bed o' Roses (gr. III) six weeks ago. A daughter of Storm Cat, Raging Fever has earned more than $767,000 at Belmont Park. That's more money than other Vagrancy entrant has earned over "Big Sandy."

Raging Fever drew post 2 and was assigned 118 pounds.

Six Entered in Cab Calloway

The final leg of the Stallion Stakes for colts, the $250,000 Cab Calloway, drew six New York-bred 3-year-olds.

Star Track Farm's Grey Comet would have been favored to win the Cab Calloway and a $100,000 bonus from the New York Breeding Program for winning all three legs of the Stallion Stakes. Unfortunately, he was euthanized on Wednesday after breaking down in a Tuesday workout at Aqueduct. The absence of Grey Comet has left a relatively light field for the inaugural Cab Calloway.

James Edwards' Bo Bo's Vice is one of a few colts stepping into the Cab Calloway off a maiden victory. Trained by H. James Bond, Bo Bo's Vice looked hopelessly beaten on May 21st, but launched a strong rally in the final five sixteenths of a mile that carried him to the wire an open-length winner. How strong was his rally? Bo Bo's Vice made up the 15 lengths he spotted pacesetter Lofty Call before drawing off for a comfortable 3 ¾-length victory.

Jockey Jorge Chavez has the mount.

Roger Toffolon's Sway of Passion crushed an entry-level allowance field on May 23 in gate-to-wire fashion and might be fast enough to control the pace here. A colt by Sea Salute, Sway of Passion makes his first start beyond six furlongs in the Cab Calloway. Linda Rice trains him.

Beautiful America Looks to Get Back On Track
Chester Broman's Beautiful America, last year's New York-bred 2-year-old filly champion, has lost her last three races as the favorite. She'll be out to make amends in the inaugural running of the Statue of Liberty division of the New York Stallion Stakes.

A daughter of Dixie Brass, Beautiful America is the most accomplished filly in the Statue of Liberty. As a 2-year-old last fall, she won three consecutive stakes including the first leg of the New York Stallion Stakes.

Sent off as the 3-5 favorite last time out in the Park Avenue, Beautiful America raced in traffic throughout most of the race before checking in a fourth under jockey Jose Santos. Santos will be back aboard Beautiful America for trainer Ramon "Mike" Hernandez on Sunday.

Hanselina and Hot Golden Jet, the 1-2 finishers in the Park Avenue, were also entered.

The Field for Sunday's Grade 3 Vagrancy:
1. Shine Again, Allen Jerkens , Jean-Luc Samyn, 121
2a. Raging Fever, Mark Hennig, Jerry Bailey, 118
3. Fly Me Crazy, Mark Shuman, Jose Santos, 113
4. Harmony Lodge, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez, 116
5. Shawklit Mint, Pat Reynolds, Richard Migliore, 113
6. Gold Mover, Mark Hennig, Jerry Bailey, 118
7. Slews Final Answer, Bill Mott, Edgar Prado, 113
8. Bonefide Reason, Mitch Friedman , Javier Castellano, 111

The Field For Sunday's Cab Calloway:
1. High Priced, Pat Reynolds, Jerry Bailey, 114
2. Sway of Passion, Linda Rice, Jose Santos, 116
3. Cape Pogue, Joe Imperio, Shaun Bridgmohan, 114
4. Thanasi, Del Carroll, Mike Luzzi, 114
5. Jet Alert, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez, 114

The Field for Sunday's Statue of Liberty:
1. Hanselina, Dominic Galluscio, Edgar Prado, 122
2. Board Eligible, James Ferraro, Pablo Fragoso, 114
3. Beautiful America, Mike Hernandez, Jose Santos, 122
4. The Name Was Gone, Mike Sedlacek, Mike Luzzi, 120
5. Kings Empress, Allen Jerkens, Jorge Chavez, 114
6. Ave's Princessa, Bob Klesaris, John Velazquez, 114
7. Halo Halo Halo, Mike Hushion, Javier Castellano, 118
8. Hot Golden Jet, Jimmy Jerkens, Heberto Castillo Jr., 118
9. David's Dilemma, Dominic Galluscio, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 114
10. Raffie's Dream, Dominic Galluscio, Eibar Coa, 114