07/28/2013 1:43PM

Steven Crist's Saratoga graded stakes analysis: Honorable Miss


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Monday’s Grade 2 Honorable Miss at Saratoga drew a field of seven older fillies and mares going six furlongs, three of them (including the two morning-line favorites) daughters of Speightstown. It is one of two graded stakes at the meet for sprinters in this division, leading to the Grade 1 Ballerina at seven furlongs Aug. 23.

It’s hard to say a discouraging word about 5-2 morning-line favorite Dance to Bristol, who might be an overlay at that price. She has won five straight races at four different tracks and has been first or second in 15 of 16 career starts. She has been climbing the class ladder from allowances to stakes and in her last start won the Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses at Belmont. That was not the toughest graded-stakes field ever assembled, but neither is this, with only two graded winners in the lineup.

Burban is 0 for 3 in graded company but is better than that sounds since her defeats include a good second to Aubby K in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on the Kentucky Derby undercard. She comes off a front-running, big-figure (98) victory in the Roxelana Stakes at Churchill Downs but needs careful rating here not to get tangled early with Livi Makenzie, Glorious View, and Munnings Sister.

I prefer Dance to Bristol for her consistency and her adaptability to various pace scenarios. In multirace wagers, I will focus on her and back up with both Burban and Glorious View, who has been training strongly for her first start since winning the Grade 2 Vagrancy on May 18.

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