06/18/2007 11:00PM

Honorable Truth on the rise

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - The rapidly improving Honorable Truth steps up to face winners for the first time Thursday in a $38,000 allowance race for fillies and mares at Monmouth Park.

Honorable Truth drew the outside post in the six-horse field for the first-level contest. None of the runners carries the $40,000 optional claiming price.

Honorable Truth will be making her fourth career start, and the improvement from race to race has been dramatic.

A Red Oak Stable homebred, Honorable Truth debuted in April at Laurel in a $40,000 claimer. Honorable Truth won by two lengths, but the result was overturned on a postrace medication positive for Butazolidin.

She posted a Beyer Speed Figure of 38 in that first start. The next race was at Philadelphia Park on May 6, when the 3-year-old ran second in a maiden special weight race and her Beyer Figure jumped to a 55.

Then it was on to Monmouth on May 20, when Honorable Truth battled for the early lead before drawing clear to a 3 1/4-length win. Her Beyer surged to 71.

"She's a filly that keeps improving," said trainer Greg Sacco. "She came out of the race very well, and she really took to Monmouth's new [dirt] surface."

Sacco intends to run Honorable Truth at Monmouth even though she is nominated to an overnight stakes at Belmont Park on Friday, the $65,000 Marking Time at one mile for 3-year-old fillies who have not won a graded stakes in 2007.

"This is the logical spot," Sacco said. "If she gets over this hurdle, maybe we'll look for a 3-year-old filly stakes down the road.

"We're hoping for another big effort to see if she can take the next step."

Sacco sees no evidence that the latest victory took anything out of Honorable Truth.

"The main thing with fillies in the summertime is keeping weight on them, and her appetite's been great since the race," Sacco said. "She's trained well and she blew out well, doing it effortlessly."

That workout was a snappy three-furlong drill in 35 seconds here on June 13.

Albany County returns to Monmouth for the first time since running fourth in the off-the-turf Incredible Revenge Stakes last summer. The 5-year-old consistently runs Beyers that make her competitive in this spot, but she is only 2 for 27, with ample opportunities already to have graduated from this condition.

Skipper Tale ran second in her debut here last summer for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. She most recently ran seventh on the turf under similar allowance conditions at Belmont.