She may not win by much, but Paulassilverlining improved to three-for-three on the season and cemented her status as the nation’s best female sprinter with another game victory in the $196,000 Honorable Miss H. (G2) at Saratoga on Wednesday.
The 124-pound highweight in a field of five, Paulassilverlining was no more than 1 1/2 lengths off a :22.69 and :45.46 pace set by Finley’sluckycharm, a Kentucky invader who was backed strongly from her 7-2 morning line price to even-money favoritism.
Floated wide into the stretch but appearing to be going slightly better than Finley’sluckycharm in upper stretch, Paulassilverlining then looked to be losing some of that momentum inside the final sixteenth. Under coaxing from Jose Ortiz, the five-year-old took another lunge at the favorite and was up to win by a neck in a time of 1:10.10 for six furlongs on a fast track.
Drifting from 6-5 favoritism on the morning line to 8-5 at post time, Paulassilverlining paid $5.30 for owner Juddmonte Farms, who acquired the mare privately earlier this year, and trainer Chad Brown.
“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,” Brown said.
“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 Ballerina (G1) [on August 26].”
Getting three pounds from the winner, Finley’sluckycharm lost for only the third time in 11 career starts. She finished a half-length in front of By the Moon, who had rallied late outside the top pair. Clothes Fall Off and Disco Chick completed the order of finish.
Trained by Michelle Nevin through her four-year-old season, Paulassilverlining won six times in stakes company for that conditioner, including the 2014 Matron (G2), and the 2016 Gallant Bloom H. (G2), Distaff H. (G3), and Vagrancy H. (G3). She lost last year’s Honorable Miss by a neck and later finished two lengths third to Finest City in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).
Following the acquisition by Juddmonte, Paulassilverlining debuted in the green and pink silks with a neck score in the Madison (G1) at Keeneland, and then go her revenge on Finest City by the same margin in the Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. Her record now stands at 21-11-4-3, $1,491,230.
A Ghostzapper half-sister to Grade 1 winner Dads Caps, Paulassilverlining was produced by the Grindstone mare Seeking the Silver. She was bred in Kentucky by Vince Scuderi.