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2012 Honorable Miss Handicap and John's Call Stakes

C C's Pal and Junior Alvarado after the 2012 Honorable Miss Handicap

Whitney Handicap from Saturday

Date: 08/07/2012

The feature race on Friday at Saratoga was the $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) for older fillies and mares sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. 19,078 fans came out to the historic track under partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 90's. It's Me Mom was sent off as the 9-5 favorite in the field of 8 off her win in the Satin and Lace Stakes at Presque Isle Downs. In to challenge her included 3-1 second choice C C's Pal, winner of the Vagrancy (G2) before finishing third in the Bed O'Roses (G3) both at Belmont Park, and 5-1 third choice Roman Treasure, off her win in the Chaldea Stakes at Belmont.

Seagulls scatter as the fillies head down the stretch.

Jockey Willie Martinez sent It's Me Mom to the lead exiting the chute and she set fast fractions of 21.14 and 43.78 while as many as 2 lengths in front of Roman Treasure and 12-1 Winning Image. Entering the stretch, It's Me Mom tired allowing Roman Treasure to inherit the lead through 5/8 in 56.65, but the fast pace set the race up for the closers. C C's Pal, 4th early but as many as 6 1/2 lengths back, closed on the outside to get up by a neck over 7-1 Island Bound in 1:09.88 over the fast main track. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 11-1 Beat the Blues third.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place  Show
 3   C C's Pal          Alvarado      8.50    4.50  2.80
 1   Island Bound       Leparoux              6.60  4.40
 5   Beat the Blues     Napravnik                   4.40

Winning Time:  1:09.88

$2 Exacta 3-1                51.00
$2 Trifecta 3-1-5           272.00
$2 Superfecta 3-1-5-2     1,464.00
Results Chart

Left: C C's Pal in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said, "It was awful quick up front. We wanted to save ground around the turn. She can lead, stalk ... she fired another bullet. The instructions were outrun the inside horses, save ground around the turn and find a seam turning for home. Let her relax and let her figure out what's next. Right now, we'll keep her running short."

Right: C C's Pal in the paddock before the race.

Left: C C's Pal in the post parade.

Right: C C's Pal heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Junior Alvarado said, "This filly is just amazing. It's a little easier for you when you ride this kind of horse. Rick Dutrow really had her ready, too. My filly has enough speed to be close if they are going slow, or if they're going fast I know I'll be in a good spot. That's pretty much what happened. They went real, real fast, and I was in a nice spot saving ground. She really gave me a nice kick at the end."

Left: Second place finisher Island Bound in the post parade. 7-1 fourth choice Island Bound was last early under jockey Julien Leparoux then closed well ate but just missed by a neck. The Ian Wilkes trainee improved her record to 5 wins, 8 seconds, and 2 thirds in 22 starts, earning $257,738 for owner Robert Manfuso.

Right: Third place finisher Beat the Blues heads out to the track. 11-1 sixth choice Beat the Blues was 6th early under jockey Rosie Napravnik, but encountered traffic during her rally to finish third beaten 1 3/4 lengths. The Bret Calhoun trainee improved her record to 9 wins, 4 seconds, and 4 thirds in 21 starts, earning $418,674 for owners Martin Racing Stable and Dan and Deb Morgan.

Seventh place finisher and beaten favorite It's Me Mom returns after the race. The 9-5 favorite went to the lead under jockey Willie Martinez but could not sustain her speed, tiring badly in the stretch to finish7th beaten 8 3/4 lengths. The Lynne Scace trainee has a record of 11 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 19 starts, earning $540,134 for owner-breeders Jean and Thomas Bosch.

Immediately before the Honorable Miss, a field of 6 older horses went 1 5/8 miles on the Mellon turf course in the $100,000 John's Call Stakes. Tahoe Lake was sent off as the 6-5 favorite off a 4th place finish in the Man O'War (G1) at Belmont Park, over 2-1 second choice Harrods Creek, 6th in the Stars and Stripes (G3) at Arlington last out, and 4-1 third choice Hailstone, off a 5th place finish in the Brooklyn (G2) at Belmont.

Jockey Rajiv Maragh sent 9-2 fourth choice Ballet Boy to the lead along the inside and he set easy fractions of 47.50, 1:12.67, and 1:37.89 over the firm course, while as many as 3 1/2 lengths in front of Hailstone stalking in second. On the third turn Ballet Boy tired allowing Hailstone to gain the lead through 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.01. Harrods Creek, who was unhurried in fourth most of the way, came through 3 wide to gain the lead at the 1/8 pole and drew off to win by 3 3/4 lengths over favorite Tahoe Lake in 2:38.55. It was just a neck back to Hailstone third.

Results Chart

Left: Harrods Creek in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bill Mott said, "The race didn't really unfold the way we thought it would on paper. We thought it would unfold a little differently. We thought Hailstone would show a little bit of speed. We thought we might be sitting second or even possibly on the lead, and it didn't work out that way. A couple more horses showed speed than we anticipated, but I think our rider made the judgment to let the horse settle where he was comfortable, and he picked up the pieces at the end. It worked out great."

Right: Harrods Creek in the post parade. Winning jockey Junior Alvarado said, "It was 1 5/8 so I didn't want to break and be aggressive. I wanted to let him be comfortable, and he pretty much relaxed the whole way. By the 3/8 pole I tried to find a clear spot, and by the 1/4 pole I had a clear one outside. I asked him and he responded right away. It was pretty easy after that."

Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Tahoe Lake returns after the race. The 6-5 favorite stalked the pace in third under jockey Eddie Castro, then passed the tiring pacesetter to get second beaten 3 3/4 lengths. The Ken McPeek trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 6 seconds, and 4 thirds in 17 starts, earning $242,919 for owner Alastar Thoroughbred Racing.

Right: Third place finisher Hailstone in the post parade. The 4-1 third choice pressed the pace in second under jockey Joseph Rocco Jr., gained a short lead on the far turn, but tired in the stretch to finish third beaten 4 lengths. The Robert Ribaudo trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 3 seconds, and 4 thirds in 16 starts, earning $231,849 for owner Marc Keller.

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