A deft move between horses inside the eighth pole sent Dance to Bristol to the front in the final strides to win the $200,000 Honorable Miss H. (G2) by a neck Monday at Saratoga. The victory was the sixth straight for the 4-year-old daughter of Speightstown, who vaulted to the top of the 2013 General Sire List with $6,868,741 in progeny earnings to date.
No stallion has been hotter than Speightstown during the last week of July, with four stakes wins in the past four days, led by Lighthouse Bay's win in the Grade 1 Prioress S., also at Saratoga, on July 27.
At the start of the six furlong Honorable Miss, Classic Point zipped through an opening quarter-mile in 22.11 seconds and a half-mile in 44.98 with Burban and Livi Makenzie right on the leader's heels. Meanwhile, Dance to Bristol was just a couple lengths back in fifth in the tightly bunched field.
Dance to Bristol dropped back to sixth entering the turn when she had to check off fading Livi Makenzie. Under regular rider Xavier Perez she managed to find a gap between Burban and Classic Point in mid-stretch and forged to the front to claim the second graded stakes of her career.
The final time over the fast track was 1:09.73.
"Not 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," winning trainer Ollie Figgins III said. "It was nice."
"At 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 of his trip. "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."
Based at the Bowie Training Center in Maryland, Dance to Bristol now has won nine of 17 starts with seven seconds. The Kentucky-bred filly earned $120,000 for the win, increasing her lifetime take to $620,880.
Dance to Bristol won the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses H. June 15 at Belmont Park in her previous start.
Figgins said he would bring his star filly back to Saratoga August 23 for the seven-furlong, $500,000 Ballerina (G1).
"The Ballerina is absolutely where we'd like to be," he said.