Miss Macy Sue will try to capture the 2008 Honorable Miss after finishing 4th as the favorite in last year's running.

Miss Macy Sue will try to capture the 2008 Honorable Miss after finishing 4th as the favorite in last year's running.

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer

Miss Macy Sue Back in Honorable Miss

Last year, Miss Macy Sue entered the $150,000 Honorable Miss (gr. II) off a 2 1/2-length victory in the Saylorville on her home track at Prairie Meadows. She proceeded to finish a well-beaten fourth after being sent off as the favorite.

Back again in the six-furlong Honorable Miss at Saratoga Aug. 1, this time Miss Macy Sue enters the event off a six-length romp in the Saylorville. The connections of the 5-year-old daughter of Trippi hope she will be a more formidable opponent in the 2008 edition, as she takes on five rivals on Saratoga’s main track.

Trainer Kelly Von Hemel, who is based out of Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa, saddled his first starter at Saratoga last year with Miss Macy Sue. He feels fortunate to have a horse that has taken him to prestigious racing venues such as the Spa, Churchill Downs, Oaklawn Park and Monmouth Park, where she ran third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

“Miss Macy Sue is the horse that has brought me to all these different places and let me see what big-time racing is all about,” Von Hemel said. “It is not hard to prepare a mare like Missy Macy Sue to race. The biggest thing is location, getting her from Prairie Meadows to these other racetracks.”

Bred in Florida by Bryan Howlett and out of the Great Above mare Yada Yada, Miss Macy Sue has raced in graded company twice this year. She was beaten soundly while finishing sixth in the Humana Distaff (gr. I) on the undercard of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), then was runner-up to Graeme Six in the Winning Colors (gr. III) at Churchill Downs three weeks later. Graeme Six is also entered in the Honorable Miss.

“She broke really slow (in the Winning Colors),” Von Hemel said. “She couldn’t overcome that, but she still managed to run second and got beat less than two lengths by Graeme Six.”

Regular rider Eddie Razo Jr., will get the call on Miss Macy Sue, who is owned by Roll Reroll Stables and will break from the rail.

Graeme Six, a 4-year-old filly trained by Tom Amoss, has won three of five starts this season, including stakes at Oaklawn and Fair Grounds. She was eighth in the Humana Distaff. The daughter of Graeme Hall is 5-6-0 from 14 lifetime starts.

“We’re looking to run her in the big race in the fall (Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita, Oct. 24),” Amoss said. “After she won the Winning Colors, we gave her a month or so of little or no training and a little bit of a turn out. We are going to keep her sprinting and this race was on our schedule. We want to make sure she belongs and we will plan the rest of the year from this.”

Two others to watch for are Any Limit and Rite Moment, who finished first and third, respectively, in the seven-furlong First Flight Handicap (gr. II) July 4 at Belmont. Owned by Joseph Shields Jr. and trained by Allen Jerkens, Any Limit went straight to the lead in the First Flight and never looked back. Off for 11 months due to a severe foot injury suffered last summer, it was her first win since February of 2007 when she scored in the Hurricane Bertie Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream.

Rite Moment closed ground in the final yards of the First Flight but was 1 3/4 lengths back of the winner. The 4-year-old Vicar filly has been very steady this year, winning five of eight starts while never finishing out of the money. Trained by Gary Contessa, she won the Bed o’ Roses and Distaff Handicaps, both grade II events at Aqueduct this spring. Ramon Dominguez will ride for the first time.

$150,000 Honorable Miss (gr. II, Race 9, 5:30 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, Six Furlongs (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Miss Macy Sue (FL), 118, Eusebio Razo, Jr.
2. Akronism (KY), 115, Pablo Morales
3. Zada Belle (FL), 115, John R. Velazquez
4. Rite Moment (KY), 118, Ramon A. Dominguez
5. Any Limit (KY), 118, Cornelio H. Velasquez
6. Graeme Six (FL), 118, Julien R. Leparoux