Paulassilverlining Edges Finley’sluckycharm To Take G2 Honorable Miss

Paulassilverlining earned her third straight graded stakes victory when she out-battled a stubborn Finley'sluckycharm to win the G2 Honorable Miss Stakes by a neck at Saratoga.

The 5-year-old mare by Ghostzapper remains undefeated in 2017 for trainer Chad Brown and owner Juddmonte Farms. Paulassilverlining started her year with a victory in the G1 Madison Stakes at Keeneland, and followed that up with a win in the G1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.

A field of five went to the post in the Honorable Miss, with the Bret Calhoun-trained Finley'sluckycharm sent off as the even money favorite. As per her style, Finley'sluckycharm took the lead right out of the starting gate. She was soon joined by outsider Disco Chick, as Paulasilverlining sat just off of them in third.

Paulasilverlining began to close on the leaders entering the far turn, and soon rolled up to challenge Finley'sluckycharm as they hit the top of the stretch. The talented distaffers dueled the length of the stretch, with it appearing that Finley'sluckycharm would come out on top. However, with one final surge nearing the wire, Paulasilverlining overhauled her rival to claim victory by a long neck.

By the Moon, who stumbled slightly at the start, closed strongly in the stretch but had to settle for third, just a half-length further back. Final time for the six furlongs was 1:10.10.

Bred in Kentucky by Vince Scuderi, Paulassilverlining began her career racing for him under the care of trainer Michelle Nevin. For those connections, she compiled four graded stakes wins and finished third in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita. Following that performance, Prince Khalid Abdullah purchased her as a future broodmare for his international superstar Arrogate.

Honorable Miss Quotes:

Chad Brown, winning trainer of Paulassilverlining (No. 3): “Jose [Ortiz] knows her so well, I really didn't give him any instructions. He timed it just right. She has a lot of heart. [Since] arriving in our barn, she's done nothing wrong. She's been a real pleasant addition to our stable: so competitive, a lot of heart, a lot of talent.

“Six [furlongs] is just a little short for her. She showed that with barely getting up there at the wire but good horses overcome things like this, taking them out of their element just a touch. She's done that today. She was giving the other filly some weight and she was a real quality horse [No. 5, Finley'sluckycharm]. Our filly won two Grade 1s in a row and she didn't even go off favored. I thought the leader got away with a real soft opening quarter. For this caliber of race, [it was] not that fast and ‘Paula' was able to wear her down. It was a great stretch duel. I'm glad we were able to come out on top.

“This was a prep for the [Grade 1, $500,000] Ballerina [August 26]. We gave her a freshening after the [Grade 1] Humana [Distaff] at Churchill, planning to race her in the Honorable Miss and leading to the Ballerina that's our plan.”

Jose Ortiz, winning jockey aboard Paulassilverlining (No. 3): “I was hoping the 1 horse [Disco Chick] would go. After the last race she had in Monmouth, she was laying back. I was hoping to engage them early, and I saw the rider taking back, so I had to go out and put pressure early. I asked my filly to run hard before the quarter-pole, and Brian [Hernandez, Jr., aboard No. 5, Finley'sluckycharm] was waiting, he tried to come back on me, but my filly has a lot of heart.

“Probably, I would've won anyway, but I didn't want the 5 horse to get a big lead. She was going easy enough for him, and I didn't want them to get comfortable in there.”

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