Speed is the key to the $200,000 Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga, in which early speed and late speed will be crucial to the outcome of the six-furlong contest for fillies and mares on the main track.
Sadie Lady (12-1) and Honey I’m Good (6-1) are both gate-to-wire girls, with Sadie Lady keeping her face clean in a race for New York-breds over six furlongs at Belmont Park last time out, and Honey I’m Good leading all the way at Monmouth Park over the same trip. It seems sensible to predict that one or both will be on the lead again, but this is a hotter contest than either of those two affairs and both look vulnerable to classier types.
Ain’t No Elmers (6-1), partnered by British export Adam Beschizza, comes out of the inside pocket and could be another speed influence after her last-time-out win in an allowance optional claimer at Churchill Downs when she cut out the early pace and just kept going. This is much tougher, though, and she’ll have a lot of competition on the lead here.
Who will they set up the race for?
The market believes it will be late closer Bell’s The One (7-5), a Grade 1 winner last year who came off a fierce pace to snap up the Roxelana Stakes at Churchill Downs last month, taking the money by three-quarters of a length. Bell’s The One was third at the Breeders’ Cup to the brilliant Gamine last fall, so she’s the one to beat, but she is conceding at least 4lb to all eight rivals and could be hung out wide from the nine stalls in the early stages – and then it comes down to luck in running, and her skinny odds don’t factor in much margin for error.
Reagan’s Edge (6-1) was runner-up over course and distance in the Grade 2 Prioress Stakes last September, but if you like her you couldn’t have liked her seasonal reappearance last month, in which she was an odds-on flop at Churchill Downs. At her best, she’s a player, and she’s happy at the Spa, but after that performance, there is doubt hanging over her.
A more reliable conveyance for a dollar is the Bill Mott-trained Lake Avenue (9-2), who drops down in distance after a narrow defeat over seven furlongs in the Grade 3 Bed O’Roses on a sloppy Belmont surface. The Godolphin four-year-old had the race won everywhere but the last three strides, going under by a neck, and although seven might be her best trip now, a fast-run six should suit her well.
Lake Avenue will hit the lids in between the two main speed horses – wherever you look there are speed horses – and Junior Alvarado will be in the ideal position to slipstream the pace-setters before making his mount’s stamina tell down the stretch. She won’t be stopping, and Bell’s The One might run out of racing room despite her usual strong late rally
Honorable Miss H Racecard
|Horse||Jockey||Odds courtesy of Jazzsports|
|AIN’T NO ELMERS||Adam Beschizza||+600|
|REAGAN’S EDGE||Jose Lezcano||+600|
|SADIE LADY||Jose L. Ortiz||+1200|
|LAKE AVENUE||Junior Alvarado||+450|
|TRUTH HURTS||Irad Ortiz. Jr||+3000|
|DON’T CALL ME MARY||Luis Saez||+1200|
|HONEY I’M GOOD||Ricardo Santana. Jr||+600|
|MISS MOSAIC||Manuel Franco||+1500|
|BELL’S THE ONE||Corey J. Lanerie||+140|
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