Bell’s The One Gives Pessin First Saratoga Winner In Wednesday’s Honorable Miss

Lothenbach Stables’ Bell’s the One, favored at odds of 4-5, made her signature late run under jockey Corey Lanerie to win Wednesday’s Grade 2 Honorable Miss Stakes. The 5-year-old daughter of Majesticperfection was trainer Neil Pessin’s first starter at Saratoga, and ran six furlongs over the fast main track in 1:09.83. Though the winning margin was only a neck, Bell’s the One always appeared to have the measure of her 3-1 rival Lake Avenue and had something left in reserve at the wire.

Bell’s the One broke well from the outside post, but was quickly left at the rear of the field as the frontrunners raced up the Saratoga backstretch. Ain’t No Elmers grabbed the early lead over Honey I’m Good, setting fractions of :23.80 and :45.85, while Lanerie patiently allowed Bell’s the One to find her stride.

Lake Avenue was behind a wall of horses turning for home so jockey Junior Alvarado angled her out to the center of the course. Lanerie tracked that move and went wider still, drafting Bell’s the One off Lake Avenue’s hip as they geared up for the final three-sixteenths of a mile.

When the two sprinters matched strides at the eighth pole, Lanerie gave Bell’s the One her cue to hit her next gear. The mare responded willingly, pulling ahead by a neck at the finish while appearing to have something left in the tank after the finish. Lake Avenue had to settle for second after a game effort, and it was several lengths back to pacesetter Ain’t No Elmers. Truth Hurts filled out the superfecta.

“I just let her run her race and when she got on her left lead on the turn, she said ‘it’s time to go’ and started making up ground so easy,” said Lanerie. “The four-horse [runner-up Lake Avenue] actually put in more of a fight than I expected. I thought when I got to her, I was going to run away. But she wouldn’t go away for a while; we were running home. This was a good race.

“She ran her own race today and I let her do it. It can get kind of scary at times, especially here at Saratoga. It’s hard to win here.”

“They didn’t go very fast,” said Pessin. “They went 22 and four for the first quarter but she just took herself back and Corey didn’t rush her, so I said we’ll see what happens from there and she made her run like she usually does. It’s been a hard track to close on today. I think she’s the only one that deep-closed any at all, but I thought she was also the best horse in the race coming in, and I feel that way coming out.”

Bred in Kentucky by Brereton Jones, Bell’s the One is out of the winning Street Cry mare Street Mate, a half-sister to Grade 1-placed, Grade 2 winner Tap Day (Pleasant Tap). As a yearling, Bell’s the One commanded $155,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale. She won her first four starts, and got her first top-level win in the 2020 edition of the G1 Derby City Distaff before running third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

“She’s about as high-class a filly as you want,” said Pessin. “She gives it her all every time she runs. Hopefully, now she’ll get the accolades she deserves and people won’t put her on the back burner when they talk about the sprint fillies.

“I don’t get real high or low,” Pessin added. “I was very happy that she won, but I was happier for her than for me just because people never really give her the credit she deserves. It’s nice to win a race like this at Saratoga and maybe people will start to put her up in the top echelon now.

Pessin said the G2 Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland Oct. 9 – a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race for the Filly & Mare Sprint division – will most likely be Bell’s the One’s next start. “It’s a ‘Win and You’re In’ and then we’ll go to the Breeders’ Cup from there,” he said.

The Honorable Miss is the second win in a row for Bell’s the One, and improves her overall record to nine wins from 19 starts for earnings of $1.13 million.

“She’s the best horse I’ve ever had, and I’ve been training for almost 40 years,” said Pessin. “She’s about as special as they come to me. I’ve got one other filly that I had in her category, Eden Prairie, that didn’t do the races that this mare’s won but she was all heart and tried every time. They’re the two favorite horses I’ve ever had.”

The post Bell’s The One Gives Pessin First Saratoga Winner In Wednesday’s Honorable Miss appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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