A field of eight fillies and mares will line up in Friday’s featured race at Saratoga, the $200,000 Honorable Miss (G2), and these ladies are going to be battling hot and heavy soon after the break.
The race is top heavy with early speed, and the early fractions figure to be about as hot as we have seen so far at the Spa meeting.
The Lynne Scace trained It’s Me Mom has won 11 of her 18 career starts, and in each of those wins she was not headed.
However, she is trying graded stakes company for just the second time in her career. The first came in the Old Hat (G3) at Gulfstream Park back in January and she faded to finish fourth after setting the early fractions.
She is going to face three foes that have some serious early zip. Roman Treasure, Winning Image, and Maple Forest are all accustomed to being on or near the lead.
That could set things up for a runner to come from off the pace, although the Spa main track has been kinder to horses on or near the lead at today’s six furlong distance.
The co-feature on today’s card is the $100,000 John’s Call, a nine furlong turf test for older makes that have not won a graded stake on turf in 2012.
A field of six will line up, led by Tahoe Lake, who is the 9-5 morning line favorite for trainer Kenny McPeek.
The six-year-old gelding is coming off a third place finish in the Man ‘O War (G1)at Belmont Park on July 14.
Michael Dempsey provides his selections for Saratoga each racing day. Mike’s Best Plays Report is available each weekend, with his strongest plays and selections including the top stakes races.
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Let’s head out to Saratoga for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Honorable Miss (G2) Post time 5:30 ET
7 It’s Me Mom 7-2
5 Beat the Blues 8-1
3 C C’s Pal 5-2
1 Island Bound 6-1
It’s Me Mom is coming off a gate to wire score over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle in the Satin and Lace, her 11th win in 18 career starts. This filly is really quick and she will need to be as this race is top heavy with early speed types. She has run just as well on dirt as she has on the fake stuff and her only recent poor showing was two back in the Skipat at Pimlico where she dueled for the early lead and faded to finish fifth. She was coming off a big effort at Tampa Bay Downs three back where she matched her career top speed fig. She is quick enough to grab the lead she will be tough here, and note that bullet drill at Suffolk, 44.3 out of the gate on July 30.
Beat the Blues made a mild late rally to finish third last out in the Blue Sparkler at Monmouth Park, beaten five lengths by Maple Forest. Two back she made a good middle move and could not match strides in deep stretch with Island Bound. She is making her third start of her current form cycle and is going to get a good pace set up here as the early fractions are going to be hot. The track profile gives the edge to horses on or near the lead, but if there is a pace meltdown here she will be waiting in the wings. Rosie picks up the call and she should get overlooked on the tote.
C C’s Pal chased the early pace, grabbed brief lead and did not have enough punch left late in a third place finish in the Bed ‘o Roses (G2) going seven furlongs at Belmont Park. She earned a career top two back taking the field gate to wire to win the Vagrancy (G2). The mare is usually right in the mix and she has shown she can sit off the pace and pounce. She looks likely to rebound here and should be sitting in a good spot as they turn for home.
WIN: It’s Me Mom to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 5,7 / 1,3,5,7
TRIFECTA: 5,7 / 1,3,5,7 / 1,3,5,7,8