Please Explain and Taris will face off Saturday as part of an 11-filly field entered in the Grade 3, $150,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/16-mile contest is the final steppingstone to the Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy on April 5, and is also worth 50 points to the winner toward a berth in the Kentucky Oaks starting gate on May 2 at Churchill Downs.
Both Please Explain and Taris own romping wins from their last pair of races. The former, who is trained by Tom Proctor, started out in sprints but didn't really blossom until trying a one-mile maiden last November at Churchill. The Curlin filly just missed by a head that day and returned a month later at Gulfstream Park to earn her first win by 5 1/2 lengths while going 1 1/16 miles.
Please Explain was given about two months off before making her sophomore and stakes debut last out at Tampa Bay Downs in the mile-and-40-yard Suncoast. The dark bay miss saved ground while running last early in that contest, steadily overtook rivals to take command in the lane and easily drew off to be six lengths clear on the wire. Please Explain will have Drayden Van Dyke in the irons for the first time on Saturday and will break from the rail.
Taris is just to Please Explain's inside and will attempt to move her record to a perfect three-for-three under regular rider Clinton Potts. The duo stepped out for the first time on December 21 at Aqueduct, taking a six-furlong maiden special weight over the good track by 11 lengths, then returned last out on January 25 to romp by 5 1/2 lengths at Laurel Park in the seven-furlong Wide Country.
Trainer Todd Beattie will send out the bay daughter of Flatter, who earned a field-best 98 BRIS Speed rating in her debut.
Saturday's Honeybee also includes Euphrosyne, who finished second after leading in the early going of the Martha Washington on February 1. The Harlan's Holiday filly easily broke her maiden by 6 3/4 lengths at Fair Grounds prior to that contest, and has posted two nice maintenance moves at Oaklawn for trainer Steve Asmussen since her last-out stakes try.
Also in with a chance is Sugar Shock, who is two-for-two at Oaklawn while going six furlongs. The Doug Anderson-trained chestnut lass was an easy winner in each of those cases and retains the services of Channing Hill for her stakes bow.