Patience and pace pays off: Come Dancing scores fifth graded stakes win in G2 Honorable Miss

September 6, 2020

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Blue Devil Racing Stable’s Come Dancing sat patiently off a torrid pace and picked up a fifth graded stakes victory proving to be much the best in the 29th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Honorable Miss for fillies and mares going six furlongs over the main track at Saratoga Race Course.

Guided by jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., Come Dancing broke sharply from her inside post but took back into fourth as graded stakes winner Lady’s Island threw down swift splits of 21.64 for the opening quarter and 43.81 for the half-mile over the fast main track.

Around the far turn, Come Dancing began making up ground and moved a path to the outside of multiple graded stakes winner Blamed and got her cue from Ortiz, Jr. at the quarter pole.

With Lady’s Island to catch, Come Dancing was under an all-out drive and charged in between rivals and took command just past the eighth-pole. She hit the wire a three-quarter length winner, stopping the clock in a time of 1:08.74.

Lady’s Island finished second 2 ¾ lengths ahead of Blamed. Unholy Alliance, Pink Sands, Bye Bye J and Pacific Gale completed the order of finish.

Come Dancing’s last victory took place in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom last September at Belmont Park. Prior to that effort, she won against graded stakes company at all three NYRA tracks taking the Grade 3 Distaff at Aqueduct Racetrack, the Grade 2 Ruffian at Belmont Park and the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga.

“I was happy to see that Irad was able to get her to break and settle and he had her in the clear when he made his move,” said trainer Carlos Martin.

“The track has been very fast, but I just wanted to see the old Come Dancing give us a run like the champion that she is. It’s very gratifying that Marc [Holliday, Blue Devil Racing Stable] brought her back. A lot naysayers were saying she lost a step but hopefully she can come back and finish the year strong and we can be vindicated. I’m so happy for Come Dancing, she’s a special horse for us.”

Ortiz, Jr., who picked up his tenth stakes win of the meet, was piloting Come Dancing for the first time since October 2018, where she was fifth in the Grade 1 Beldame.

“I’m happy to be back on her today,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “I haven’t ridden her in a long time but she’s as good as she’s ever been. Hopefully, she stays sound and healthy.”

Ortiz, Jr. said a clean break from the gate was instrumental in the victory.

“I thought I had the best filly, so I tried to stay close and not give them a chance to steal the race,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “She broke well today. Last time she missed the break and today she broke good and sat a little closer and I think that was the key.”

Returning $4.70 as the post time favorite, Come Dancing enhanced her lifetime earnings to $1,186,783 and her record to 18-8-3-0.

2020 Honorable Miss Replay

Live racing returns Monday with a 14-race card to close out the 40-day Saratoga summer meet highlighted by the Grade 1, $250,000 Runhappy Hopeful at seven furlongs for 2-year-olds; and the $85,000 Lure, a 1 1/16-mile turf test for older horses. First post is 11:30 a.m.

Saratoga Entries for Monday, September 7

Live racing will then move to Belmont Park for the 27-day fall meet, featuring 38 stakes worth $5.58 million in purse money, that will kick off on Friday, September 18 and run through Sunday, November 1.

Press Release

Photo: Come Dancing. Credit: Coglianese Photos

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