08/01/2012 3:54PM

Saratoga: It's Me Mom will play try and catch me in Honorable Miss

Barbara D. Livingston
It's Me Mom looks like the speed of the speed in the Honorable Miss.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – There is a ton of speed signed on for Friday’s $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga, but none may be quite as fast as It’s Me Mom, who will try to blaze her way to the first graded stakes win of her career in the six-furlong sprint.

It’s Me Mom is one of eight older fillies and mares entered for the Grade 2 Honorable Miss. C C’s Pal, winner of the Grade 2 Vagrancy two months ago, is expected to vie for favoritism with Maple Forest, who has used her own abundant speed to post back-to-back stakes wins at Monmouth Park. The fleet Winning Image, Grade 3 winner Island Bound, Belle of the Hall, Beat the Blues, and Roman Treasure complete the field.

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It’s Me Mom has led throughout to win 11 of 18 career starts. She came within three ticks of Gulfstream Park’s six-furlong track record dominating the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint last winter and established a course record over the same distance winning a restricted stakes at Tampa Bay Downs during the spring. Her only poor effort this season came at Pimlico, where she finished fifth and last as the even-money favorite in the Skipat. She rebounded to register an easy 3 1/2-length victory in the Satin N Lace at Presque Isle Downs.

“The track was a little deeper than normal that day at Pimlico and she just didn’t handle it, but she showed she was back to herself last time at Presque Isle,” said Lynne Scace, who trains the homebred It’s Me Mom for Jean and Thomas Bosch.

It’s Me Mom has been training regularly this summer at Suffolk Downs, where she sizzled four furlongs from the gate in 44.80 seconds on Monday.

“The clocker called me after the work and told me he thought his watch was broken,” said Scace. “He said he had her galloping out five-eighths in 57 and change. She came back from the work bucking and playing and didn’t drink more than a quarter bucket of water. She’s a freak this filly. Nobody has her speed. I know there are some fast horses in this field but when she breaks, she makes the lead so easily it doesn’t even look like she’s running that hard. That’s how she runs best and we’re not going to change anything now. We’ll just let them try and catch her.”

C C’s Pal returned on short rest to outgame Nicole H by a neck to capture the Vagrancy after dropping a three-quarter-length decision to the front-running Winning Image in the My Juliet at Parx six days earlier. C C’s Pal faded late after chasing the pace to finish third in the seven-furlong, Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses Handicap in her last start on July 1.

Maple Forest ships over from Monmouth, where she captured the Red Cross and Blue Sparkler overnight stakes, both at six furlongs, in her last two starts. The Todd Pletcher-trained Maple Forest led through deep stretch before dropping a half-length decision to Hot Summer here a year ago in the Grade 3 Victory Ride.

Former claimer Island Bound and Beat the Blues could prove major beneficiaries of a contested pace. The pair rallied to finish one-two in the Grade 3 Winning Colors at Churchill Downs on June 2.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maple Forest got short shrift from Dan and Mike, and what Dan intimated, that she can't rate or has never rated, is incorrect. Her record at this distance is 2nd to none in the field. 1st or 2nd 9 of 10 at the distance with 5 wins, including two races where she stalked the speed and out-closed everyone else. Clearly, she can stalk. And she likes this track from a figure perspective (Beyer ad Moss). The filly she is stalking I am williing to toss. She has never raced or worked over the surface. Her last work is almost too fast. She's stepping up big-time, and the trainer is so-so. I can see her being an excellent candidate to spit the bit after 3 furlongs, allowing MF to take over and make the run for home. Roman Treasure might be sitting on the best race of her life, figure-wise (2nd race of her 4yo campaign, handled by the ideal patient trainer, for whom older charges can continue to improve), even if she has to come from slightly off of it with a familiar companion in the ever-patient Dominguez. I will pick RT due to her class and connections, but I will play her and MF equally (exacta box/P-4). They are my As. My two Bs are Beat The Blues and Belle Of The Hall, either of whom could be within a length of the top 2 at the finish. I see 6 panels as key in staying with the speed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
by the by, I love dan and mike, I am always disappointed when they are not utilized for any of the stakes races. You do awesome work guys and you're a damn hoot besides. However, I think Maple Forest might surprise you tomorrow. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maple Forest is 4 for 10 at 6P, not 5 for 10. My bad. 4 wins, 5 seconds. This is a race where I wanted to use Formulator to compare the field's 6 furlong races only, and also another view showing their SAR races only. In sprint stakes of quality, I have found that focusing the PPs on the specific sprint distance being run to be useful in seperating the value between entrants in a competitive field (generally speaking).