08/04/2011 4:18PM

Saratoga: Seven challenge Trappe Shot in Vanderbilt

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Barbara D. Livingston
Trappe Shot goes for his first Grade 1 win in Sunday's $250,000 Vanderbilt Handicap.

Trappe Shot, the 8 1/2-length winner of the Grade 2 True North, will attempt to win his first Grade 1 stakes when he meets seven rivals in Sunday’s $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at six furlongs at Saratoga.

Trappe Shot, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, drew the outside post in the eight-horse field and will be ridden by John Velazquez.

The last time Trappe Shot raced at Saratoga, he finished ninth as the 7-2 favorite in the $1 million Travers Stakes going 1 1/4 miles. Since then, he is 2 for 2 at six furlongs.

Among his more intriguing rivals is Sean Avery, who two starts back won the Longfellow Stakes by 11 3/4 lengths at Monmouth Park, earning a 112 Beyer Speed Figure. In his next start, Sean Avery finished second as the 1-2 favorite in the Mr. Prospector Stakes at Monmouth on July 4.

“That’s the theory, that he bounced,” trainer Allen Iwinski said. “I see it enough. There is something to it. Sheet players swear on it.”

Still, Iwinski knows that even if Sean Avery is able to bounce back, he will “have to run the race of his life to win this race, especially with Trappe Shot in there.”

Others entered include Noble’s Promise, Bank Merger, Atta Boy Roy, Hamzing Destiny, Calibrachoa, and Apriority.

Tar Heel Mom heads Honorable Miss

Only five fillies and mares were entered for Sunday’s co-feature, the Grade 2, $150,000 Honorable Miss Stakes at six furlongs.

Tar Heel Mom has won seven stakes, including overnight stakes victories at Gulfstream and Belmont to begin the year. However, she is coming off two losses as the odds-on favorite in stakes at Parx Racing and Delaware Park.

Her competition Sunday includes Beat the Blues, the Saylorville Stakes winner; Champagne d’Oro, last year’s Test winner; Irish Gypsy, winner of the Grade 2 A Gleam in her last start; and Wild News, a recent allowance winner.