Updated on 09/15/2011 12:42PM

Big Bambu shooting high

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Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Country Hideaway's chances in the Honorable Miss increase if highweight Dat You Miz Blue and quick Big Bambu get into a speed duel.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Big Bambu has won nine of 13 starts, including seven stakes. But her shining moment may have come here last summer when she finished a game second in the Grade 1 Test Stakes.

Big Bambu, a daughter of 1991 Hopeful winner Salt Lake, returns to Saratoga Wednesday, trying to win her first graded stakes, in the $100,000 Honorable Miss. The Grade 3 race, a prep for the Grade 1 Ballerina on Aug. 26, drew a field of five.

Big Bambu is as fast a sprinting filly as there is, and she is coming off a 2 1/2-length win in the Regret Stakes at Monmouth Park, where she ran fractions of 21.40 seconds, 43.71, 55.84, and a final time of in 1:08.75.

In last year's Test, Big Bambu, sent off at 28-1, put away Prioress winner I'm Brassy, opened up a lead in upper stretch, only to get run down late by Dream Supreme. Since then, Big Bambu has won four of five starts, her only loss coming in her seasonal debut at Gulfstream, where she ran last but was found to have been suffering from heat stroke.

Trainer Alan Sobol said he thinks about last year's Test "a lot" and is hoping she can duplicate that effort against graded stakes winners Dat You Miz Blue and Country Hideaway.

"We know she likes the surface," Sobol said. "We're hoping for more of the same thing, only this time she wins." Jerry Bailey will ride Big Bambu, who is 7 for 10 at six furlongs, the distance of the Honorable Miss.

Coming off her 6 3/4-length demolition of Dream Supreme in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap - her fourth win from five starts this year - Dat You Miz Blue is the starting highweight at 120 pounds. Breaking from the rail, it may force her to duel with Big Bambu, something trainer Jimmy Jerkens does not want to see happen.

"In order to win the race you might have to go after that filly early, and it might make you go before you want to go," Jerkens said. "I'm just going to give Johnny [Velazquez] a leg up and leave it up to him."

Not that trainer Shug McGaughey needs the help, but a duel between Dat You Miz Blue and Big Bambu would set things up nicely for his late-running sprinter Country Hideaway. A two-time winner over the track, Country Hideaway has been freshened since a third-place finish in the Shuvee.

"If she gets a solid pace, she'll be fine," said McGaughey, who has won with five of his first 11 starters at the meet.

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