07/29/2013 5:05PM

Saratoga: Dance to Bristol gets job done in Honorable Miss

Barbara D. Livingston
Dance to Bristol (left) has now finished first or second in 16 of her 17 career starts.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.  - After reeling off three consecutive one-sided stakes victories, Dance to Bristol finally had to work for her money, overcoming a tough trip before gamely running down the pacesetting Classic Point to register a well-earned three-quarter-length decision in Monday’s $200,000 Honorable Miss at Saratoga.

Dance to Bristol, a bargain $42,000 purchase at 2, had won her last three starts by a combined 16 1/2 lengths, a string of stakes wins that included a 2 3/4-length triumph in the Grade 3 Bed O’ Roses Handicap last month at Belmont Park.

With regular rider Xavier Perez aboard, Dance to Bristol raced near the rear of the closely bunched field as Classic Point set modest fractions of 22.11 and 44.98 seconds to lead the way in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss. Classic Point remained bottled up in traffic between horses turning into the stretch before finally finding a seam near the eighth pole. Perez deftly guided Dance to Bristol through the opening, and she responded with a late surge that carried the popular filly to her sixth straight victory.

Munnings Sister, who broke sharply and raced well placed outside rivals from the outset, remained a major player through midstretch but faltered late, finishing another 2 1/4 lengths back in third. She was followed by Promise Me a Cat, Burban, Livi Makenzie, and Glorious View.

Dance to Bristol, a 4-year-old daughter of Speightstown, has now finished first or second in 16 of her 17 career starts. She covered the distance in 1:09.73 over a fast track and paid $3.70.

“Not the cleanest of trips she’s ever had and you never know how she was going to react, because she’s always had nice, perfect trips and this is the toughest field she’s had to run against,” said Ollie Figgins III, who trains Dance to Bristol for owner Susan Wantz. “Today was the first time she’s had to do that, to dig down like that. I think he [Perez] had to wait a little longer than he wanted to, but once it opened up she came through there pretty well.”

Figgins said the Grade 1 Ballerina “is where we’d like to be” for her next start.

Dance to Bristol has now finished first or second in 16 of her 17 career starts.