a relentless charge between horses inside the eighth pole, 4-5 favorite
Dance to Bristol
ran down Classic Point in the final strides to win the
Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap by a neck on Monday at
Saratoga Race Course.
victory, Dance to Bristol's sixth straight at five different tracks,
sent trainer Ollie Figgins, III to the Spa winners' circle for the first
time, and denied Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens yet another
upset victory at the track where he built much of his reputation as "The
A 4-year-old daughter of Speightstown won the six-furlong race in 1:09.73.
at the Bowie Training Center in Maryland, Dance to Bristol now has won
nine of 17 starts with seven seconds, and Figgins, a third-generation
horseman and son of a jockey, said the Honorable Miss was the most
difficult race of her career.
the cleanest of trips she's ever had, and you don't know how she's
going to react because she's always had nice, perfect trips - you
couldn't draw them up any better - and today is the first time she had
to do that," he said. "It was nice."
the start, Munnings Sister broke sharply from her outside post and Livi
Makenzie went to the front from the inside. Less than an eighth of a
mile into the race, however, Classic Point, a sharply improving
4-year-old out of the claiming ranks, moved to the leaders and took
84, who saddled Emma's Encore to upset the Grade 1 Prioress last summer
at Saratoga, had turned around Classic Point in her two most recent
starts, sharp optional claiming scores at Belmont Park.
Point zipped through an opening quarter-mile in 22.11 seconds and a
half-mile in 44.98 as Burban and Livi Makenzie both chased and
eventually gave way.
to Bristol, meanwhile, raced close up in fifth place but dropped to
sixth on the far turn under regular rider Xavier Perez. In the two path
straightening for home, she found a gap between Burban and Classic Point
and burst to the front to score.
the three-eighths, I got kind of bumped around by [Livi Makenzie] and I
got worried at that point because I was boxed in," Perez said. "But
when we turned for home and she switched leads, I saw the horses open up
a little bit and I sent her through a real nice seam, and she just
split the horses and kept going. She just gave me everything she had.
We're going up the ladder. I think we're going to go far with her."
Point was second at odds of 14-1 under veteran rider Alex Solis,
followed by Munnings Sister, Promise Me a Cat, Burban, Livi Makenzie and
we were certainly happy with the way she ran," Jerkens said. "I was
surprised that she made the lead; I know there were fast fillies."
Dance to Bristol paid $3.70 for a $2 win bet. The $120,000 first-place purse increased her lifetime earnings to $620,880.
Honorable Miss was her second graded stakes victory as she had won the
Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap on June 15 at Belmont Park in her previous
said he would see how Dance to Bristol comes out of the race, and, if
ready, would bring her back August 23 in the seven-furlong, Grade 1,
"The Ballerina is absolutely where we'd like to be," he said.