Scourge of Mid-Atlantic
tracks the past two years, 4-year-old filly Dance to Bristol
had her sights set on bigger game, and she will make her Saratoga Race
Course debut Monday as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the Grade 2,
$200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and
Based at the Bowie
Training Center in Maryland for trainer Ollie Figgins III, Dance to
Bristol has eight victories and seven second-place finishes in 16 career
starts. She has posted five stakes scores at five different tracks,
including, most recently, the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap on June 15
at Belmont Park.
A compact, stalking
runner with rising speed figures, Dance to Bristol's only off-the-board
finish came in January 2012 when the blazingly fast Agave Kiss wired the
field in the Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct Race Track.
A daughter of
Speightstown, purchased by owner Susan Wantz for $42,000 at the
Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training sale, Dance to Bristol
now has won five straight. She will face six others in the Honorable
Under regular rider
Xavier Perez, Dance to Bristol earned a 106 Beyer Speed Figure winning
the $200,000 Sugar Maple at Charles Town, defeating Holiday Soiree, who
was subsequently third in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs.
Dance to Bristol next whipped the field in the Skipat Stakes on
Preakness Day at Pimlico prior to the Bed o' Roses.
"That's kind of when I
realized it would be worth taking a shot at graded company," Figgins
said of the Sugar Maple win. "That Holiday Soiree was a graded-type
filly. From a Beyer figure standpoint, early in her 3-year-old year she
ran a 91, and that was impressive. It was always in the back of my mind
that she could perform at this level."
Before Dance to Bristol, Figgins' best horse was Rouse the Cat, a $10,000 claim he got to the 2008 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
The Honorable Miss
appears to have attracted an abundance of speed horses, including
Burban, Classic Point, Livi Makenzie and Glorious View, which suits
Figgins just fine.
"She's run some of her
better races stalking the pace," said Figgins, a third generation
horseman whose grandfather worked in the broodmare barns on Buckland
Farm in Gainesville, Va., and whose father was a Mid-Atlantic region
jockey for more than 20 years. "She's a free-running filly in the
bridle. She breaks and gets herself in a rhythm, and if there's no pace
in the race she can be the speed. It looks like there is plenty of speed
in this race."
Dance to Bristol's
principal rival might be Burban, a 5-year-old Speightstown mare trained
by Eddie Kenneally, who is coming off a 3 ¼-length, gate-to-wire score
in an overnight stake at Churchill Downs. Earlier in the Churchill meet,
she finished second in the Humana Distaff and fourth in the Grade 3
"She won quite easily in
her last start," Kenneally said of Burban, the 3-1 second choice on the
morning line. "It was an overnight stakes race, and it was a short
field, but she did everything right and got the job done. I think six
furlongs is her best distance, so we want to take a shot in this spot
and try to win a graded stakes with her. She hasn't done that.
"[Dance to Bristol]
looks like she's unbeatable right now," Kenneally said. "Her last couple
races were huge. Wherever she runs, she runs well, so you've got to
Hall of Fame trainer
Bill Mott will send out Glorious View, 4-1 on the morning line, who is
seeking her fifth straight victory. The 4-year-old daughter of Pleasant
Tap did not break her maiden until her seventh start but hasn't lost
since. Most recently, she won the Grade 2 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont
"She was just a slow
learner," Mott said. "She always worked well but never really put it
together in the afternoon, and I guess it really clicked. She showed a
fair amount of ability from the beginning."
Munnings Sister, yet another daughter of Speightstown, seeks her third straight victory, after two overnight stakes scores.
"She's won these little
overnight stakes, but we want her to win a graded stakes, and you can't
do that without going in one," said trainer Barclay Tagg of Munnings
Sister, 5-1 on the morning line. "It's six furlongs, a top-quality race,
and I'd certainly like to win it. She surprises you sometimes and just
jumps up and does it. The last one was great, and the one before that I
didn't even expect it. She put her head down and ran."
Livi Makenzie, an
off-the-pace winner of a stakes race at Prairie Meadows in her most
recent start; the markedly improved Classic Point, from the barn of Hall
of Famer Allen Jerkens; and Promise Me a Cat complete the field.