08/31/2009 11:00PM

Miss Tallahassee tries route once again


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Miss Tallahassee, a late-running sprinter, stretches out to one mile Thursday at Monmouth Park in a $51,000 first-level allowance for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares.

A 3-year-old trained by Greg Sacco, Miss Tallahassee earned her maiden victory last time out in typical fashion: storming from almost 10 lengths behind to get up by a half-length with Joe Bravo aboard in the six-furlong race.

"The key is the last three-eighths of a mile because she has a good, strong kick," Sacco said. "She galloped out very strong after the win, and that's what gave Joe confidence she could stretch back out."

Bravo has the return call as Miss Tallahassee faces eight rivals from the rail.

This will be her second try around two turns. Sacco feels the earlier effort, a distant second in the mud here June 12, was not a true test on an oppressively hot day when Miss Tallahassee was in season.

"Even though she made a decent run at the winner, who won easily, she wasn't at her best," Sacco said.

Since then, Miss Tallahassee has run four straight times in statebred maiden sprints, rallying three times to get second before scoring the breakthrough victory.

"She sort of blossomed and she put it all together this summer," Sacco said. "She has consistently run well. She thrives on racing. We don't train her hard in between. She doesn't need a lot and she puts it all together in her races."

Miss Tallahassee has hit the board in all six of her Monmouth races, with a record of 1-4-1. She hasn't been close in three tries elsewhere, starting with a 25-length drubbing in her debut last October at the Meadowlands.

"It was a nightmare," Sacco said. "She was wild in the paddock, a 2-year-old running at night."

Miss Tallahassee certainly grew up over the summer, turning in Beyer Speed Figures ranging from 56 to 62 in her last four races. No other runner in the field can match that consistency.

Silent Empress looks like the main competition, having gotten the better of Miss Tallahassee for her maiden win on July 12.

Since then, Silent Empress has had two interesting starts: a no-shot loss in the slop when blocked at the quarter pole, and a rallying second with Bravo aboard on the stretch out to a mile and 70 yards.

Eddie Castro will be aboard for trainer Bruce Alexander.