Tar Heel Mom grabbed the lead and never looked back to take the 20th running
of the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Race
Away sharply under Alex Solis,
Tar Heel Mom dueled briefly with Wild News through an opening quarter in 22.40,
and established herself on the lead through a half-mile went in 45.24. Let out
turning for home, she crossed the wire 5 ¾ lengths ahead of Beat the Blues and
was clocked in 1:10.42 for six furlongs.
“She has been training so nice
and sharp in the mornings,” Solis said. “Today, she sat in that gate, and as
soon as the doors opened, she was half a length in front. She was going real
relaxed. I made sure I had a nice hold on her, and at the top of the stretch I
let her go a little bit. She responded, I tapped her a couple of times, and she
Sent off as the 9-5 favorite in
the field of five, Tar Heel Mom returned $5.70 to her backers in the Sunday
crowd of 21,650 at the Spa as she picked up her second graded stakes win of 2011
and the third of her career.
“I knew [the wet track] wouldn’t
bother her, so that was great, and the speed was holding,” said trainer Stanley
Hough. “She’s a special mare. She tries so hard and it’s a real thrill to have
her. She’s been so honest for us.”
A consistent performer throughout
her career, the 6-year-old daughter of Flatter improved her record to 11-7-5
from 28 starts with today’s victory and earned $90,000 for owner Alex Rankin to
boost her career earnings to $778,392. She is now 3-for-4 at Saratoga .
Champagne d’Oro completed the
trifecta in the Honorable Miss and was followed home by Irish Gypsy and Wild
Hough said he had not decided
whether Tar Heel Mom would run back in the Grade 1, seven-furlong Ballerina on
Travers Day, August 27.
“I’d kind of like to keep her at
three-quarters if I could, but we’ll have to see,” Hough said. “Maybe. I just
wanted to get by this one and see.”