Kimari (Munnings) winning the Gr.2 Honorable Miss H'cap at Saratoga

Determined Kimari Wins G2 Honorable Miss

Munnings’ Grade I winner Kimari (5m Munnings x Cozze Up Lady, by Cozzene) was back in the winner’s circle on Wednesday with a determined victory in the Grade II Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga.

The bay broke a step slow in the six furlong dirt race to take up a place near the back of the field a few paths off the rail. Around the turn, Kimari made a big move to overtake the leader with the rest of the field before turning her attention to the win.

Kimari had a few lengths to close on Frank’s Rockette, who had taken the lead but once she clicked into full flight she rapidly closed the ground between them. It wasn’t until the shadow of the wire that Kimari had her nose in front but it was obvious she had enough momentum to build on that margin. In the end, she pulled away in the closing strides to win by half a length with the third placed runner 6 ¼ lengths behind her.

“I was pretty confident going into today,” trainer Wesley Ward said. “It just worked out great, and it’s always great to stand in the winner’s circle for a graded race at Saratoga. There’s nothing like it.”

Bred by China Horse Club, Kimari races for Westerberg, Jonathan Poulin, and the Coolmore partners. Ward has conditioned her to eight wins and four other top three finishes in 15 starts for $981,327 in earnings.

Ward indicated her end-of-year goal is the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint with all her future racing plans pointing to that race.

The winner of last year’s Grade I Madison Stakes, Kimari was purchased for $2.7 million by M.V. Magnier at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale to end 2021. This year she has two victories and a third in the Grade I Madison as well.

This year, Kimari’s dam Cozze Up Lady foaled a colt from the first crop of four-time Grade I winner Tiz The Law on March 15.

Munnings is the sire of 12 stakes winners and five graded stakes winners in 2022, putting him second by stakes winners and eighth by graded stakes winners. His runners this year are headlined by Grade I winner Jack Christopher.