Shine Again to Ruffian and Shiny Band to Floral Park

Trainer Allen Jerkens is planning an all-out weekend attack on Belmont Park when he sends out half-siblings Shine Again and Shiny Band, as well as Puzzlement, in separate stakes events. Shine Again is pointed toward Saturday's $300,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) and Shiny Band will contest Sunday's $100,000 Floral Park Handicap (gr. III). Puzzlement will start in Saturday's $150,000 Jerome Handicap (gr. II).

Jerkens said the decision to stretch Shine Again out to the 1 1/16-mile Ruffian distance was based on her improved ability to rate.

"She rates a lot better now than she did in the past, and going 1 1/16 around one-turn will be easier than going around two turns and it will give us an opportunity to judge her," Jerkens said.

Shine Again hasn't traveled 1 1/16 miles since 2001 when she finished third in the Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) and scored a two-length win in the restricted Geisha Handicap.

The daughter of Wild Again out of the Two Punch mare Shiner enters the Ruffian after notching a half-length win over Raging Fever in the Aug. 25 Ballerina Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga for Allaire du Pont's Bohemia Stable. It was the second consecutive Ballerina title for Shine Again.

Besides Shine Again, confirmed starters for the Ruffian include: Minister's Baby, Raging Fever, and You. Mandy's Gold is listed as a possible starter.

While Shine Again stretches her legs in the Ruffian, Shiny Band will return to sprint distances in the seven-furlong Floral Park.

In her last start, Shiny Band, also campaigned by Bohemia Stable, finished third, going nine furlongs over the Saratoga turf, in an Aug. 5 allowance contest. The last win for Shiny Band came in the one-mile Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) on May 18 at Belmont.

In her last attempt at seven furlongs, Shiny Band finished eighth in a nine-horse field in a July 12 allowance contest over the Belmont turf. Prior to that, she finished fifth in the seven-furlong Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct.

Expected to challenge Shiny Band in the Floral Park are: Carson Hollow, Gold Mover, La Galerie and Sweet Nanette. Cat Cay is listed as a possible.