A field of 11 sophomore fillies will line up Saturday in the next race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks – the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park.
The 1 1/16-mile contest is part of the Championship portion of the series and will award 50-20-10-5 points to the respective top four finishers.
Angling for the winner’s share of those points is Chanel’s Legacy, winner of the first two legs of the three-year-old filly stakes at Oaklawn. The Lynn Chleborad trainee captured the six-furlong Dixie Belle Stakes and one-mile Martha Washington Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths each with jockey Alex Birzer aboard. She was sent off at 5-1 in the first race and 13-1 in the second, but easily drew off on each occasion.
Chanel’s Legacy could make it three in a row on Saturday with Birzer holding the reins once again.
My Sweet Stella was second in both the Dixie Belle and Martha Washington, and seeks her first stakes victory in this spot. The D. Wayne Lukas pupil had Jon Court aboard for the Dixie Belle and Carlos Marquez Jr. in the saddle for the Martha Washington, and gets yet another different rider for the Honeybee in the form of Ramon Vazquez.
Favored at 8-5 in the Martha Washington, Perfect Wife broke through the gate before the start, led the way early but eventually faded to last of eight. That effort followed a five-length victory in the Trapeze Stakes for trainer Kenny McPeek, so the Majesticperfection is perfectly capable of big wins. Corey Lanerie has the call.
Tapa Tapa Tapa tried a conventional dirt track for the first time last out and wired the Suncoast Stakes by three lengths at 9-1. The Tim Hamm pupil previously broke her maiden on Woodbine’s synthetic main track before taking a turf allowance at that Toronto venue. She was no match for the winners of the Natalma S. (Can-G1) and Jesssamine Stakes (G3) in her next two tries on grass, and keeps Jesus Castanon aboard here.
Elate was the heavy 1-5 favorite in the Suncoast after taking her maiden debut by 12 lengths last November at Aqueduct, but proved second best for trainer Bill Mott in her sophomore bow. The Medaglia d’Oro filly gets a second shot at stakes glory with Jose Lezcano taking the reins for the first time.
It Tiz Well stretches out past seven furlongs for the first time here. The Jerry Hollendorfer charge broke her maiden by 10 lengths at Los Alamitos in December, was well-beaten by stablemate star Unique Bella when second in the Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) and recently captured an allowance/optional claimer by 3 3/4 lengths at Santa Anita Park. Corey Nakatani rides It Tiz Well on Saturday.
Lovely Bernadette capped off a three-race win streak in the Rags to Riches Stakes at Churchill Downs last October, but hasn’t been in the top three since, including a fourth-placing in the Martha Washington last out. Benner Island also ran in the Martha Washington, finishing a one-placed sixth.
Stakes winner Someday Soon, multiple Grade 2-placed Ever So Clever and maiden scorer Tap of War complete the Honeybee field.