SARATOGA SPRINGS — They ran the first steeplechase of the Saratoga Race Course meet on Wednesday, and then Paulassilverlining got over a hurdle of a different sort in the Grade II Honorable Miss.
As nice as her record is at six furlongs, she prefers a little longer distance, as she showed in winning two straight at seven furlongs since coming to trainer Chad Brown’s barn.
The six furlongs of the Honorable Miss turned out to be just enough real estate for Paulassilverlining to catch front-runner Finley’sluckycharm and win by a neck, her third straight victory by that margin.
Overall, she has won four straight since a close third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, all with Jose Ortiz in the irons, and the Honorable Miss should set her up for the Grade I Ballerina in her comfort zone of seven furlongs later in the meet.
“Six is just a little short for her,” Brown said. “She showed that in barely getting up at the wire. But good horses overcome things like this, taking them out of their element just a touch. She did that today.”
While racing mostly at Churchill Downs, Finley’sluckycharm has assembled a nice record of her own and, like Paulassilverlining, she brought a three-race winning streak into the Honorable Miss.
Sent off as the even-money favorite, Finley’sluckycharm and jockey Brian Hernandez shot to the lead as they pically do, and some early pressure from long shot Disco Chick that Ortiz was hoping for never happened, so he urged Paulassilverlining closer to the leader than he would have otherwise.
They were a head apart through the stretch before Paulassilverlining…
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