Updated on 09/16/2011 8:55AM

Spa 'Storm' warning

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Four-Footed Fotos
Nasty Storm was dull in two stakes this year, but a drop into allowance company paid off.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Dallas Stewart can't be blamed if he still has nightmares about the 2001 Test Stakes and the sight of Nasty Storm rearing at the start before rallying to finish third behind Victory Ride and Xtra Heat.

Stewart is hoping Nasty Storm will have a little better racing luck on Friday when she takes on six other older fillies and mares, including likely favorite Gold Mover, in the $100,000 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga.

"What happened in the Test was just a tough break," said Stewart. "She went up in the air when the gates opened, and by the time she came down they were long gone."

Nasty Storm bounced back from her unlucky experience in the Test to win her next three starts, all stakes, including the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap. Stewart gave her the winter off and has gotten three races under her belt in preparation for her return to Saratoga, including an impressive 3 1/4-length allowance win last month at Churchill Downs.

"She probably just wasn't ready for stakes competition in her first two starts this year, but we got her going in the right direction again after dropping her back to allowance company," said Stewart. "She loves this track - she was second in the Spinaway here as a 2-year-old - and with Xtra Heat not coming, this looks like a pretty equal bunch."

Gold Mover figures to be the public's choice after outfinishing Eclipse Award winner Xtra Heat to win Calder's Grade 2 Princess Rooney Handicap on July 13. She was second, beaten a neck by Xtra Heat, in the Grade 2 Vagrancy Handicap, in her previous start, and lost what would have been the most important race of her career when she was disqualified and placed second following an apparent head triumph in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff Handicap at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.

"She bounced back out of the Calder race in good shape," said her trainer, Mark Hennig, who would not have started Gold Mover in the Honorable Miss had Xtra Heat run.

Gold Mover and Nasty Storm will share highweight of 116 pounds in the Grade 3 Honorable Miss, along with Shine Again and Mandy's Gold. Dat You Miz Blue, Trip, and Steaming Home round out the lineup.

Shine Again bounced back from her third-place finish in the Vagrancy to register a pair of impressive allowance victories at Belmont.

Mandy's Gold brings a three-race win streak into the Honorable Miss, with each of those victories coming in stakes races, including the Grade 3 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap.

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