The summer meet at Saratoga is well underway, which means that there is huge racing action taking place on a weekly basis at the famous track in New York.
However, while many eyes will be on the prestigious Grade 1s taking place at the track, there is a very competitive handicap creeping into sight.
The Honorable Miss Handicap 2022 will be staged on July 27th this year and, as usual, it’s one of the most important even on the Saratoga race track schedule by TwinSpires. Some of the finest fillies and mares aged three and older are set to be involved.
Honorable Miss Handicap 2022 Information
The Honorable Miss Handicap is a race for fillies and mares aged three and older, which offers a purse of $200,000. It is run over a distance of six furlongs, with weight allocated to the field depending on their previous form coming into the race.
This race has been a Grade 2 since 2004, and a number of legendary horses have claimed success in the past.
History & Records
The current speed record over the six furlong distance is held by Minit to Stardom, who finished the race in 1:08.81 in 2019. Meanwhile, the most dominant winner of the race was Wisla in 1986, who won by over 12 lengths. The two victories recorded by Bourbon Belle in 1999 and 2000 make her the most successful horse in the history of the Honorable Miss Handicap.
Edgar S. Prado is the most dominant jockey in the race with three wins, while three trainers are tied for the most wins. H. Allen Jerkens, Peter W. Salmen Jr and Steven Asmussen all hold the record for trainer victories. George & Kay Hofmeister, Donna Salmen & Susan Bunning are the only owners to have tasted success in this race on more than one occasion.
Honorable Miss Handicap 2022 Leading Contenders
Bella Sofia looks a very likely runner in the Honorable Miss Handicap this year for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. The four-year-old has been in sensational form over six and seven furlongs throughout her career, with her only defeat in graded company coming when she finished fourth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint last year.
She put that setback behind her earlier this year, as she won over 6 ½ furlongs at Belmont Park in the G3 Vagrancy Handicap. She improved yet again to dominantly win the G2 Bed o’ Roses Invitational in June. It could be very hard to bet against her if she lines up at Saratoga, where she won the G1 Test in 2021.
Wesley Ward often has a strong hand when it comes to horses under a mile, and Kimari looks set to be his most likely runner in the Honorable Miss Handicap this year. She took on the boys at the Breeders’ Cup last year, but she could only finish seventh in the G1 Turf Sprint. However, she has already showed glimpses of getting back to her best this year, when she finished third in the G1 Madison and fifth in the G1 Derby City Distaff.
She has doesn’t have any previous experience at Saratoga, which would be an issue, but she did land a success over six furlongs on the dirt back in 2020 when coming out on top in the Purple Martin Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
The final runner that could be still improving that may be worth second consideration for the race is Li’l Tootsie for trainer Thomas Amoss. This four-year-old was a very fine winner at Churchill Downs in early July, as she managed to score a victory in the Anchorage Overnight over Roc’s Princess and Will’s Secret.
However, whether she has the ability to hang in this company with some of the stars remains to be seen. She has twice run over the six furlong distance in stakes company this year; finishing third in the G3 Winning Colors and sixth in the Carousel.