Honorable Miss Makes Six for Dance to Bristol
At the start it was Munnings Sister who broke first with Livi Makenzie on the inside, Classic Point in between with Burban right behind. Dance to Bristol was fifth with Glorious View and Promise Me a Cat trailing.
Travelling toward the rear, 4-year-old Dance to Bristol, with jockey Xavier Perez in the irons, found herself in traffic, Perez waiting for the right opportunity to move as pacesetter Classic Point led the field over the fast track through fractions of :22.11, :44.98, and :57.08 in the six-furlong dirt dash.
"Not the cleanest of trips she's ever had," admitted winning trainer Ollie Figgins III, "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. It was nice."
"I think (jockey Xavier Perez) had to wait a little longer than he wanted to," observed Figgins, "and I think he did check a little over by the three-eighths pole, but once it opened up she came through pretty good. This is the toughest field she's run against. I was having my doubts, because these guys don't give you nothing. They don't give you a break here."
At the quarter pole 4-5 favorite Dance to Bristol, a daughter of Speightstown , rallied, Perez artfully piloting the chestnut filly through holes in the final furlong. Classic Point persisted in the duel toward the finish, but it was Dance to Bristol who proved best.
"We got a perfect break and I tried put her right behind horses close. I didn't want to get too far back," said Perez. "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."
Catching Classic Point in the final strides toward the wire, Dance to Bristol prevailed over the runner-up by a neck and hit the wire in 1:09.73. Munnings Sister stayed on to finish third while early trailer Promise Me a Cat made a late bid to finish fourth. Burban, Livi Makenzie, and Glorious View completed the order of finish.
Dance to Bristol was bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. David Garner out of the Louis Quatorzemare Dance to Dawn.
The grade II Honorable Miss is Dance to Bristol's second graded stakes triumph following on the heels of her June 15 victory in the Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park. According to her conditioner, another jump could be possible next time.
"The biggest thing is how she comes out of the race," said Figgins. "We'll see how she is in the next day or two, next week. The (Aug. 23) Ballerina (gr. I) is absolutely where we'd like to be."
Victress Dance to Bristol returned $3.70, $2.90, and $2.40, while runner-up Classic Point paid $8.30 and $6.30. Munnings Sister's third-place finish brought back $6.30.
Finishing first or second in all but one of her starts, this latest victory improves the daughter of Speightstown 's record to 9-7-0 from 17 starts. Adding the $120,000 share of the Honorable Miss purse, Dance to Bristol now boasts earnings of $620,880.
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