08/06/2010 7:31PM

Hour Glass looks to make amends for Calder dud in Honorable Miss


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – South Florida can be awfully inhospitable this time of year, be it the heat, the humidity, or the results for shippers for the Summit of Speed. Hour Glass headed to Calder last month as one of the top contenders for the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap, but she never fired, finishing sixth of 11 on a day when they might as well have put up a sign that said “locals only.”

“She didn’t seem to fire at Calder, like a lot of horses who shipped in there,” said Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Hour Glass. “She didn’t run her ‘A’ race. But since she shipped back, she’s trained well.”

Hour Glass had won twice in three starts entering the Princess Rooney, and Pletcher said he believes she can return to her best form on Sunday at Saratoga in the Grade 2, $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap, at six furlongs for older female sprinters. The Honorable Miss drew a petite field of five, including Warbling, the Princess Rooney runner-up.

“I know it’s not good for business, but I’d like to take advantage of that,” Pletcher said of the small field.

Hour Glass is making her first start at Saratoga, but she has proven she doesn’t need a home-court advantage, having scored her five victories at four different tracks. Curiously, she has won every other start since beginning her career. If that pattern holds, she will win the Honorable Miss.

“She’s coming up to the race well,” Pletcher said.

Warbling was second as the favorite in the Princess Rooney, and her sharp speed will have her prominent from the start. But she will have to first turn back One Smokin’ Lady, who starts from the rail and likely will have to be sent from there.

That could set the race up for Pretty Prolific, who ran the best race of her life when second in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on the Kentucky Derby undercard. This will be her first start since that race. In the interim, she was transferred to trainer Kenny McPeek.

“She’s done great. She’s a top filly,” McPeek said. “She’s trained really good here. I’ve had her about a month.”

Pretty Prolific ran well here last summer, finishing second in the Test.

Secret Gypsy loves Saratoga, having won both her starts here, and she might fall into an ideal trip. After a disappointing start to the year, she won powerfully at Prairie Meadows in her last race.