Defiant Honor | Sarah Andrew
Defiant Honor, the beaten favorite in the GIII Lake George S. on opening day, made amends with a stalk-and-pounce score in the Riskaverse S. Thursday at Saratoga.
A second-out winner last fall at Belmont, the bay shipped across the country to be runner-up in the GIII Jimmy Durante S. Nov. 26 before capturing an allowance in her sophomore debut June 21 back at Big Sandy. Fading to sixth after tracking the pace in the Lake George, Defiant Honor was made the distant second chance in this feature and broke sharply before allowing favored ‘TDN Rising Star’ Cherry Lodge (Bernardini) to sprint clear through a :23.67 quarter. That one was able to slow things down past a :49.15 half, but had a tenuous lead at the top of the lane. Defiant Honor was the first to attack, quickly taking charge from the pacesetter at the three-sixteenths pole, and she kicked clear into the final furlong before holding sway late from Fizzy Friday (GB).
“I think she’s a quality filly and things went well for her today,” said winning trainer Jimmy Toner. “She had had a myectomy, where they cut the muscles in the throat because, with the displacement of the soft pallet, it cuts off the wind and they can’t breathe and they panic. But today, you can see the difference. Also, the way the race set up, there was one speed and she didn’t have to be restrained or anything. It was a perfect trip. Everything worked out today. It’s all good.”
The winner is a full-sister to ill-fated Recepta, GSW & MGISP, $696,700 and a half to Taqarub (Aldebaran), GSW, $256,962. Her dam is a half to champion Soaring Softly (Kris S.) and GISW Plenty of Grace (Roberto) out of GSW Wings of Grace (Key to the Mint). Honor Bestowed has a juvenile full-sister to the victress named Honored Promise, a yearling colt by Curlin and foaled a Speightstown colt this season before being paired with Dialed In.
RISKAVERSE S., $100,000, SAR, 8-24, (C), (NW1SRL), 3yo, f, 1mT, 1:35.67, fm.
1–#DEFIANT HONOR, 117, f, 3, by Speightstown
1st Dam: Honor Bestowed, by Honor Grades
2nd Dam: Wings of Grace, by Key to the Mint
3rd Dam: Far Beyond, by Nijinsky II
O-Phillips Racing Partnership & Pam Gartin; B-John W. Phillips
& Hank & Lynn Snowden (KY); T-James J. Toner; J-Jose
Lezcano. $60,000. Lifetime Record: 6-3-1-0, $172,015. *Full to
Recepta, GSW & MGISP, $696,700; 1/2 to Taqarub
(Aldebaran), GSW, $256,962.