07/26/2017 7:07PM

Paulassilverlining relentless in Honorable Miss victory

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Barbara D. Livingston
Paulassilverlining (center) fought gamely for a neck victory in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss at Saratoga on July 26, 2017.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Paulassilverlining had come to the throatlatch of Finley’sluckycharm in midstretch of Wednesday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga, but the leader wasn’t ready to relent. Bret Calhoun, the trainer of Finley’sluckycharm was starting to get a good feeling.

“I was pretty excited at midstretch,” Calhoun said. “I thought we had put her away.”

Not quite. Paulassilverlining, under Jose Ortiz, kept persevering and she was able to outfinish Finley’sluckycharm and jockey Brian Hernandez and win the Honorable Miss by a neck. It was another half-length back to By the Moon, who was third by five lengths over Clothes Fall Off. Disco Chick finished last.

It was the third straight neck victory for Paulassilverlining this year. She had won the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland and Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs in similar fashion. Paulassilverlining has made all three of her starts this year for trainer Chad Brown after Juddmonte Farms purchased her privately from Vincent Scuderi and transferred her from Michelle Nevin.

“She has a lot of heart, this horse,” Brown said. “Since arriving in our barn she’s done nothing wrong; she’s been a real pleasant addition to our stable. So competitive, a lot of heart, a lot of talent.”

Despite having won Grade 1 stakes in both of her starts this year, Paulassilverlining was not favored in the Honorable Miss. That designation went to Finley’sluckycharm, who had gone 8-for-10 in her career with three stakes victories at Churchill Downs this year.

Perhaps the bettors felt Finley’sluckycharm would have an edge at six furlongs. Finley’sluckycharm was in front after a quarter mile in 22.69 seconds with Disco Chick applying only token pressure from the inside.

When he saw Hector Caballero take Disco Chick back, Ortiz moved Paulassilverlining into second by the three-eighths pole. Finley’sluckycharm and Paulassilverlining were on even terms straightening away in the stretch.

Paulassilverlining took a brief lead above the eighth pole, but Finley’sluckycharm battled back to her inside and had the lead inside the sixteenth pole.

A relentless Paulassilverlining came on again and forged to the front in the shadow of the wire. A 5-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper, Paulassilverlining covered the six furlongs in 1:10.10 and returned $5.30.

“I had called on my filly to run hard before the quarter pole and Brian was waiting,” Ortiz said. “He tried to come back a little to me but my filly, she had a lot of heart.”

Calhoun said his filly might have compromised herself by acting up a bit in the paddock.

“She used herself a little bit more in the paddock and I’m sure that took a toll on us,” Calhoun said. “But you got to tip your hat to the winner, she’s a great filly.”

These two could meet again in the Grade 1 Ballerina here on Aug. 26.