Judy the Beauty has three wins and three second-place finishes in six lifetime starts at the distance of the Honorable Miss.

Judy the Beauty has three wins and three second-place finishes in six lifetime starts at the distance of the Honorable Miss.

Benoit Photography

Judy the Beauty Headlines Honorable Miss

Champion comes off valiant effort May 1 in the Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill.

Champion female sprinter Judy the Beauty headlines the $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares going six furlongs July 29 at Saratoga Race Course.

Owned and trained by Wesley Ward, the 6-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper  has three wins and three second-place finishes in six lifetime starts at the distance. In her most recent start and first race of 2015 following her DraftKings Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) victory last fall, she lost by a neck in a valiant effort, charging hard late but just missing at the wire in the May 2 Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

"You know, it was kind of a tough winter in Kentucky," Ward said. "She was training down there and being her first race back in a grade I and not having a prep or anything, I thought it was a very good effort."

Making her first start at Saratoga since 2012, when she finished second in the grade I Prioress, Judy the Beauty has been adjusting well, according to Ward, who has named Joel Rosario to ride.

"She's doing great," said Ward. "She likes a target to run at so I would expect we'd probably be off the pace."

Expected to receive a majority of support from bettors, Judy the Beauty will leave post 4 as the 124-pound highweight in a five-horse field.

Set to enter on a three-race win streak from the barn of Linda Rice is La Verdad for Lady Shelia Stable. A multiple graded stakes winner, the 5-year-old by Yes It's True will look to pick up her first win and graded stakes victory at Saratoga. Last year at the Spa, she finished fifth in the Ballerina (gr. I).  She enters the Honorable Miss off a flawless performance in the Dancin Renee at Belmont Park, which she won by 7 1/4 lengths.

"She's training well," said Rice. "She had her last little breeze over the track and went easy. She did not do well over this track last year but I think that she was a little bit over the top at the time. She had been training for a long time and I'm hoping that after getting a break this winter, she's come back fresh and well. She's won three in a row; hopefully she's at the top of her game. She's going to need to be with Judy the Beauty in there."

With regular rider Jose Ortiz scheduled for the mount, La Verdad will depart post 3 carrying 121 pounds.

Street Story, a 4-year-old daughter of Street Cry for Whispering Oaks Farm, will enter from the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen. She is coming off an encouraging finish in the June 20 Bed o' Roses (gr. III) at Belmont, where she put in a strong bid to finish second. Previous to that race, she won the May 25 Winning Colors (gr. III) at Churchill over a sloppy track.

"I think she's done really well her last couple of races," said Asmussen. "It's a nice opportunity. Judy the Beauty, obviously the champion sprint mare, is going in there—but we expect her to run extremely well. She was sharp her last two races. The draw will have a lot to do with where she's at early. In last year's (grade III) Victory Ride she was coming from considerably further back. This year, spacing her races a little bit better, maybe just being a little bit older and a little stronger, she's been showing more speed."

Street Story is set to leave from the outside with Javier Castellano in the irons. She carries 116.

Rounding out the field is 3-year-old filly Enchantress for trainer Todd Pletcher, leaving the rail under Eric Cancel and a lightweight assignment of 108 pounds; and Ultimate Shopper for Whisper Hill Farm and trainer Ralph Nicks, who will break from post 2 with Irad Ortiz Jr. as part of a 113-pound impost.

Entries: Honorable Miss H. (G2)

Saratoga Race Course, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, Race 4

  • Grade II
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 2:39 PM (local)
11Enchantress (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEric Cancel108Todd A. Pletcher-
22Ultimate Shopper (KY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.113Ralph E. Nicks-
33La Verdad (NY)Jose L. Ortiz121Linda Rice-
44Judy the Beauty (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoel Rosario124Wesley A. Ward-
55Street Story (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano116Steven M. Asmussen-