Racing News

Fantasy draws Honeybee top four, Stopchargingmaria

  • Euphrosyne (Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography

Sugar Shock, Euphrosyne, Please Explain and Kiss Moon crossed the wire in that order on March 8 in Oaklawn Park's Honeybee, and on Saturday the quartet will line back up against one another in the Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy going 1 1/16 miles. The race is worth 100 points to the winner as part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series.

Sugar Shock kept her neck in front of Euphrosyne to be first in the Honeybee, but found herself disqualified to second for interfering with that rival in the lane. That decision by the stewards interrupted the Doug Anderson filly's win streak that began when she broke her maiden at Oaklawn on January 20. The chestnut miss followed up with a 3 3/4-length victory against allowance foes in mid-February, and she was making her stakes bow in the Honeybee.

Channing Hill has been aboard for all five of Sugar Shock's career starts and retains the mount on Saturday as the Candy Ride three-year-old breaks from the rail.

Euphrosyne will be out to prove she's best of this bunch with Ricardo Santana Jr. back in the irons for trainer Steve Asmussen. The Harlan's Holiday filly made her sophomore bow a 6 3/4-length maiden romp at Fair Grounds on January 11 before shipping to Oaklawn to be second in the Martha Washington in her stakes debut. The bay miss was bothered in that contest as well as the Honeybee, and will be hoping for a clean trip on Saturday.

Like Euphrosyne, Please Explain dominated her maiden win in December before taking the Suncoast by six lengths at Tampa Bay Downs in her seasonal bow. The Tom Proctor-trained daughter of Curlin was closing fast in the Honeybee after running in the rear early on, and keeps the talented Drayden Van Dyke aboard as she goes for a first graded win.

Kiss Moon was one-paced throughout the Honeybee when crossing the wire in fourth, but that was still an improvement on her subpar seventh in the Martha Washington one race prior. The David Vance pupil broke her maiden at Turfway Park in December before schooling an Oaklawn allowance field by 9 1/2 lengths, and Kiss Moon will need to return to that form if she hopes to add the Fantasy to her resume. Terry Thompson has the call.

Stopchargingmaria was a tough competitor as a juvenile, taking the Tempted by 10 lengths and gutting out a neck decision in the Demoiselle, both at Aqueduct, but wasn't able to transfer that into her sophomore debut when fifth, 14 lengths behind the winner, in the Davona Dale on February 22. Trainer Todd Pletcher selected this spot for his Tale of the Cat filly instead of staying at Gulfstream, and Stopchargingmaria will get a rider switch to Ramon Vazquez in her second start of the year.

The Fantasy field is completed by Honeybee fifth-placer Courageous Julie, last-out maiden romper Haveyougoneaway and recent optional claiming winner Mufajaah.

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