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2009 Alfred G. Vanderbilt and Honorable Miss Handicaps

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Game Face wins the 2009 Honorable Miss Handicap
Game Face wins the 2009 Honorable Miss Handicap

Game Face wins the 2009 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga

© Cindy Pierson Dulay
August 9, 2009

The distaff counterpart to the Vanderbilt is the $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) for older fillies and mares also at 6 furlongs on the main track. Game Face, winner of the Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder last time out, was sent off as the 6-5 favorite over 8-5 second choice Porte Bonheur, winner of the First Flight at Belmont Park in June. 8-1 Keep the Peace, second in the Princess Rooney in her last start, completed the top three on the board.

Keep the Peace rushed up to the front down on the rail under jockey Julien Leparoux and battled for the lead with Game Face and Lady Chace through fractions of 22.76 and 45.74 over the fast track. Entering the stretch, Lady Chace tired and dropped back as the pacesetters continued their duel to the 1/8 pole through 5f in 56.50. Jockey Edgar Prado showed Game Face the whip late and she responded, shaking off Keep the Peace in the final 100 yards to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:10.70. It was just 3/4 length back from Keep the Peace to late-running 9-1 P.S.U. Grad third.

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