Brittlyn Stable's Minit to Stardom, the longest shot on the board at odds of 20-1, led gate-to-wire in Wednesday's Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga Race Course.
Trained by Jose Camejo and piloted by Alex Cintron, Minit to Stardom entered the six-furlong sprint on the main track rated fast, from a pair of front-running scores in allowance optional claiming events in Maryland and Delaware.
It was Grade 1-winner Mia Mischief, the 6-5 mutuel favorite under Ricardo Santana, Jr., who broke best of all, but Minit to Stardom quickly stepped into rhythm to mark the opening quarter-mile in 22.49 seconds.
The Louisiana-bred daughter of Star Guitar continued to wail on the front-end, reaching the half-mile in 45.19 as Mia Mischief chased along the rail as Ours to Run and Chalon stalked her early foot.
Minit to Stardom opened up a two-length advantage at the top of the lane as Chalon angled three-wide for the stretch run, but there was no reeling in the pacesetter, who cruised to a 1 ½-length score in 1:08.81.
Chalon, with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano up, completed the exacta a head in front of Ours to Run. Mia Mischief, Honey Bunny and Pacific Gale completed the order of finish.
Camejo, a former jockey, was full of praise for Cintron's aggressive ride aboard Minit to Stardom.
“Alex and I talked all week about this race,” said Camejo. “He really knows the horse and our game plan was to let her break, get comfortable and for her to be where she wants to be. She was really sharp today and did the rest.”
The victory provided Minit to Stardom's sire, who was campaigned by Evelyn Benoit's Brittlyn Stables, with a first graded-stakes win.
It was also the second graded-stakes victory for Camejo, who won the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap in 2014 with Potomac River.
“This is super special because it's the owner's birthday,” added Camejo. “Secondly, as a rider, I always wanted to ride here. This is really special.”
Minit to Stardom, whose full brother Star Fitzstall graduated earlier on Wednesday at Delaware Park, banked $110,000 in victory. She improved her record to six wins and three seconds from 10 starts. Minit to Stardom paid $43.40 for a $2 win ticket.
Live racing resumes on Thursday with an 11-race card that kicks off with the Grade 1, $150,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial steeplechase as the 12:45 p.m. opener and co-features the $100,000 John Morrissey for New York-bred 3-year-olds in Race 9 at 5:15 p.m.
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