July 22, 2024

Bella Sofia tops Honorable Miss quartet

Bella Sofia wins the Bed o Roses Stakes (Photo by Dom Napolitano/Coglianese Photos)

Honorable Miss H. (G2) — Race 4 (2:49 p.m. ET)

Bella Sofia, who clung to victory in a pair of slightly longer stakes at the Belmont spring meet, should find the cut back to six furlongs ideal in Wednesday’s $200,000 Honorable Miss H. (G2) at Saratoga.

A winner in six of eight career stakes, including the 2021 Test (G1) in her only prior run over the Spa course, Bella Sofia edged Frank’s Rockette by a nose in the May 14 Vagrancy H. (G3) over 6 1/2 furlongs. That season debut win was followed by half-length tally over Obligatory in the June 10 Bed o’ Roses (G2) over seven furlongs.

“She’s a very good horse out of the gate. There’s going to be a lot of speed this time, but Luis (Saez) knows her very well,” trainer Rudy Rodriguez said. “I think she can sit. She doesn’t necessarily need the lead, but she always breaks very good.”

Besides Frank’s Rockette, who is seeking her first graded triumph since winning three during the 2020 season, the Honorable Miss field includes Grade 1 veteran Kimari. Third in her title defense of the Madison (G1) at Keeneland in April, the Wesley Ward trainee made little impact when fifth in the Derby City Distaff (G1) at Churchill last time.

“She was coming back on short rest and there’s a big difference between Churchill’s main surface and Keeneland. I think she’ll run a big race here,” Ward said.

The outsider from a class perspective is Amadevil, a generous filly who’s won seven times from eight starts, though all of her stakes wins have come against Ohio-bred company.