Updated on 09/15/2011 1:40PM

Honor Glide not over the hill yet


MIAMI - Honor Glide may not be quite as good as he once was. But at the age of 7 he may still be good enough to give the up-and-coming turf specialists Mr. Pleasentfar and Deeliteful Irving all they can handle in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 W. L. McKnight Handicap.

The 1 1/2-mile McKnight highlights Calder's second annual Grand Slam II program, which also includes three other graded stakes: the Grade 2, $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap; Grade 3, $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap; and Grade 3, $100,000 Chaposa Springs Handicap.

Honor Glide, who won the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Handicap at Saratoga in 1999, will carry high weight of 117 pounds in the McKnight, including jockey Robbie Davis. Davis has ridden Honor Glide twice before, and won both times, in an allowance race at Belmont and Woodbine's Niagara Breeders' Cup Handicap.

In his most recent start, Honor Glide finished fourth after contesting the pace in Keeneland's Sycamore Breeders' Cup.

"He didn't get a great trip in his last," said Christophe Clement, who trains Honor Glide for owners Robert Schaedle III and Bonnie Heath Farm. "He was wide and too close to the lead. I'd prefer for him to be stalking."

Clement should get his wish in the McKnight. Honor Glide is expected to sit just off the pace of Buff, who appears the only real speed in the 12-horse field.

* is also a stalker, having rallied from mid-pack to win his last two starts, the Flying Pidgeon and Red Smith handicaps, both at 1 3/8 miles. A 4-year-old Brazilian bred, Mr. Pleasentfar earned a career best 100 Beyer for his three-quarter-length victory over Eltawaasul in the Red Smith.

"He's incredibly long-winded, but capable of laying close up if necessary," trainer Marty Wolfson said of Mr. Pleasentfar. "In fact, if there's no pace in this race he could wind up in front."

Deeliteful Irving, one of two 3-year-olds in the McKnight, rallied to be fourth, beaten less than two lengths by Mr. Pleasentfar, in the Red Smith, his stakes debut.

"I was impressed the way he finished in the Red Smith, coming through a pretty tight spot on the rail for such an inexperienced horse," said trainer Todd Pletcher.

Deeliteful Irving didn't race until September this year because of a chip in a hind ankle, Pletcher said.


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