08/02/2007 11:00PM

Burmilla capitalizes on pace

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - No one was more surprised than trainer Eoin Harty when he saw the first quarter of Friday's Grade 2 Honorable Miss posted in 23.03 seconds and his filly Burmilla by herself in front.

After getting away with that soft opening quarter, Burmilla, under Rafael Bejarano, had plenty left to fend off challenges from G City Gal and Indian Flare as she romped to a 2 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Honorable Miss at Saratoga. She ran six furlongs in 1:09.51 and returned $13.80 to win.

Indian Flare finished second, 2o1/2 lengths ahead of G City Gal. Miss Macy Sue, the 6-5 favorite, had a brutal trip and finished fourth. Grecian Lover was last.

The victory was the fourth in as many starts for Burmilla, a daughter of Storm Cat, whom Darley Stable purchased for $850,000 as a yearling.

"Where do you think you're going to get that, especially going three-quarters?" Harty said of the opening quarter. "I think everybody was anticipating a major speed duel up front. They took back; I'm grateful that they did. If it was always that easy, it'd be nice."

Harty won the Grade 1 Ballerina with Dubai Escapade last year, and will point Burmilla to that race here on Aug. 26.

Miss Macy Sue broke a tad slowly then got into a wrestling match with Edgar Prado, who couldn't find a comfortable spot for the filly.

"She's a better filly than what she showed today," said Kelly Von Hemel, trainer of Miss Macy Sue. "She always breaks a tad slow. She broke a little slower today than what she usually does. Then they just covered her up. She needs to be up in the race. It's tough to run down fillies when they go that slow."