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Breeders' Cup 2017

Warbling Tops Honorable Miss


Warbling headlines a select group of fillies and mares entered in the 19th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap, one of two graded stakes for sprinters set to be held at Saratoga Race Course on Sunday.


After finishing second in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl and third by two lengths in the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie, Warbling earned a breakthrough victory when she drew clear to take the Grade 2 Inside Information by 3 ¾ lengths, with all three starts having come at Gulfstream Park over the winter.


Following a fifth-place effort in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff in the slop at Churchill Downs May 1, the gray led in the stretch of the Grade 1 Princess Rooney at Calder July 10 but couldn’t hold off Jessica is Back and settled for second.


“At Churchill she had to deal with an inside post, a bad break, and the slop, and it’s tough to go to Calder and beat those local, hard-knocking horses,” said Eddie Kenneally, who trains Warbling for Joseph W. Sutton. “The six-furlong distance of the Honorable Miss is ideal, and so is the timing as she will have had a month between races.”


Julien Leparoux, named to ride Warbling in Sunday’s race, will have several placement options for the 4-year-old daughter of Unbridled’s Song in the early stages of the Honorable Miss.


“It’s better to be versatile than one-dimensional,” said Kenneally. “She can be on the lead, or she can come from off the pace.”


Warbling, the 119-pound highweight and 6-5 morning-line favorite, will break from post position 2 in the Honorable Miss.


Hour Glass, who won her first graded stakes when she took the Grade 2 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont May 29, raced evenly to finish sixth in the Princess Rooney in her last start.

“For whatever reason, she didn’t seem to fire in the Princess Rooney,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “The locally-based horses seemed to have an edge that day, and it can be a quirky surface. I think we’ll see her perform to her capabilities on Sunday.”


Owned by Nicolas Brady’s Mill House, Hour Glass will leave from post position 3 under David Cohen and 118 pounds as the 5-2 second choice.


Tom R. Walter’s Pretty Prolific defeated Warbling in the Sugar Swirl, then was fourth in both the Hurricane Bertie and the Inside Information. Facing Warbling once again the Humana Distaff, Pretty Prolific fared the better of the two, closing to finish second by three-quarters of a length in her final start for trainer James E. Baker.


“The owner sent her to us about six weeks ago,” said her new conditioner, Ken McPeek. “She’s a really nice filly and is as strong as an ox. We’re going to use this race as a prep for the Ballerina [Grade 1, August 25]. I think she’ll go up to a one-turn mile, but we’re just getting to know her.”


Edgar Prado will ride 7-2 third-choice Pretty Prolific, who drew post 5 and was assigned 118 pounds.


Secret Gypsy went on a five-race losing streak after winning the 2009 Grade 2 Distaff Handicap, but returned to form last time out with a 4 ¾-length triumph in the Saylorville at Prairie Meadows. Installed as the 4-1 fourth choice and weighted at 117 pounds, Secret Gypsy will break from post position 4 with Jamie Theriot aboard.

One Smokin’ Lady, who earned her third stakes victory when she won the July 16 Day Lilly at Penn National last time out, completes the field.


The field for the Grade 2 Honorable Miss:








One Smokin' Lady (KY)

A R Napravnik


R E Reid, Jr.



Warbling (KY)

J R Leparoux


E Kenneally



Hour Glass (KY)

D Cohen


T A Pletcher



Secret Gypsy (KY)

J Theriot


R W Werner



Pretty Prolific (KY)

E S Prado


K G McPeek





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