Bell’s the One wins Honorable Miss
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Lothenbach Stables’ Bell’s the One displayed her usual devastating late kick with a five-wide move in upper stretch besting Lake Avenue by a neck to win the 30th running of Wednesday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss at Saratoga Race Course.
The daughter of 2010 A.G. Vanderbilt winner Majesticperfection arrived at the six-furlong event for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward off a victory in the Roxelana on June 19 at Churchill Downs, where she notched millionaire status in defeating highly regarded female sprinter Sconsin.
Bell’s the One also won the Grade 2 Raven Run in October 2019 at Keeneland, the Grade 3 Winning Colors last May at Churchill and the Grade 1 Derby City Distaff on September 5 at Churchill. She won her Spa debut on Wednesday, tallying her fourth graded stakes triumph.
Breaking from outermost post 8 under Corey Lanerie, Bell’s the One took to the rear of the field as Ain’t No Elmers secured frontrunning position from her inside post and led through an opening quarter-mile in 22.80 seconds with Honey I’m Good to her outside in second position over the fast main track.
Around the turn, Bell’s the One launched her bid and started picking up ground, moving into sixth position with a rallying Lake Avenue to her inside through a half-mile in 45.85 seconds.
Just outside the three-sixteenths pole, Ain’t No Elmers maintained a slight advantage as Bell’s the One and graded stakes winner Lake Avenue ran eye-to-eye in the stretch drive. The pair of fillies moved past the pacesetter inside the sixteenth-pole with Bell’s the One getting her neck first on the wire, completing the six furlongs in 1:09.83.
Ain’t No Elmers finished another 2¾ lengths back in third, earning graded stakes black type for the second time.
Truth Hurts, Miss Mosaic, Don’t Call Me Mary, Reagan’s Edge and Honey I’m Good completed the order of finish. Sadie Lady was scratched.
Lanerie said he could feel his filly ready to make up ground.
“I just let her run her race and when she got on her left lead on the turn, she said, ‘it’s time to go’ and started making up ground so easily,” Lanerie said. “[Lake Avenue] actually put in more of a fight than I expected. I thought when I got to her, I was going to run away. But she wouldn’t go away for a while; we were running home. This was a good race. She ran her own race today and I let her do it. It can get kind of scary at times, especially here at Saratoga. It’s hard to win here.”
Trained by Neil Pessin, Bell’s the One returned $3.80 as the favorite and improved her record to 19-9-3-2 with her lifetime earnings now standing at $1,126,825.
Live action resumes today with a 10-race program headlined by the $100,000 John Morrissey for New York-breds 3-years-old and up going 6 ½ furlongs over the main track. The first post is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Step Dancer used a strong stretch-drive finish from the outside to run down pacesetter Dreamer’s Disease in the final jumps, edging his rival by a neck to capture Wednesday’s $150,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series Cab Calloway over Saratoga Race Course’s inner turf.
Step Dancer, owned by Hayward Pressman, Diamond M Stable and Donna R. Pressman, won for the first time in four starts as a sophomore and improved to 2-for-2 at the Spa after winning his debut here over the turf last September. The 19th running of the Cab Calloway was for eligible Empire State-sired 3-year-olds going one mile.
The victory for the War Dancer colt was far from assured, as Dreamer’s Disease surged to the front from the inside post under David Cohen, leading the eight-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 23.80 seconds, the half in 48.77 and three-quarters in 1:12.68 over firm going.
Step Dancer, under jockey Dylan Davis, tracked in sixth, a position he maintained exiting the final turn. But Davis tipped out his charge when straightened for home and Step Dancer relished the open daylight in front, gaining ground on Dreamer’s Disease with every stride in the final furlong before collaring him right before the wire, completing the course in a 1:35.83 final time.
The Barclay Tagg trainee won a stakes for the first time since the open-company Awad in October at Belmont Park, improving to 3-1-2 in seven career starts overall.
Step Dancer, the 7-5 favorite, paid $4.90 on a $2 win wager. He increased his career earnings to $219,800.
Bred in New York by Sugar Plum Farm and Richard Pressman, Step Dancer finished third in the Grade 2 Pilgrim at second asking in October at Belmont.
“I’d like to try him against open company again,” Tagg said. “Maybe not the next race, but we’ll see. He’s definitely good enough.”
Dreamer’s Disease, who ran sixth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November at Keeneland for trainer Robertino Diodoro, earned runner-up status in his Saratoga bow, besting It’s Gravy by 4 3/4 lengths.
“The winner obviously ran a big race. My horse did extremely well,” Cohen said. “I’m happy that he bounced back after that last race and ran to what we thought he could do. He’s a very versatile horse and I’m happy that he showed up today.”
Gator Bite, Barrage, Devious Mo, Ocala Dream and Tales of Saratoga completed the order of finish. Market Alert, entered for the main track only, was scratched.
Thursday will feature a 10-race card at Saratoga highlighted by the $100,000 John Morrissey Handicap for New York-bred 3-year-olds and up going 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track in Race 9 at 5:39 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1:05 p.m.