Cosmic ‘bursts’ into Kentucky Oaks consideration with Honeybee win

Mar 11, 2018 Jennifer Caldwell/

Norma Lee Stockseth and Todd Dunn’s Cosmic Burst ran down Amy’s Challenge in the stretch of Saturday’s $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park to post a 1 3/4-length victory under jockey Richard Eramia.

The Honeybee is part of the Championship portion of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks and was worth 50-20-10-5 points to the respective top four finishers.

Cosmic Burst brought two points into the Honeybee, thanks to a third-place effort in the Martha Washington Stakes while making her sophomore bow on February 10 at Oaklawn. The Donnie Von Hemel trainee now sits in fourth on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard with 52 total points.

Amy’s Challenge immediately sped to the lead when the gates opened and drew off to an eight-length advantage on the backstretch. Eramia bided his time aboard Cosmic Burst before sending the bay daughter of Violence after the runaway pacesetter. They in reeled Amy’s Challenge and pulled away in the lane to finish 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:44.19.

Amy’s Challenge makes her Oaks Leaderboard debut with 20 points after suffering her first career loss here. Martha Washington runner-up Sassy Sienna was another 1 1/4 lengths behind in third and boasts 15 total points for finishing two lengths in front of 4-5 favorite Red Ruby in the Honeybee.

Red Ruby, winner of the Martha Washington last out, also shows 15 points and sits one spot in front of Sassy Sienna on the Leaderboard.

Cosmic Burst improved her career record to read 6-4-1-1 with this return to the winner’s circle and has earned $267,080 lifetime. Bred in Pennsylvania by Pewter Stable, the sophomore lass ran second in her debut at Churchill Downs last September before going on a three-race win streak that includes a 5 1/4-length victory in the Trapeze Stakes at Remington Park to finish out her juvenile campaign on December 17.

Cosmic Burst is the first registered stakes winner out of the unraced Ghostzapper mare Peggy Ring.


Donnie K. Von Hemel, trainer Cosmic Burst, winner

“She definitely broke better today. And, we saw the filly we expected to see last time. You can probably blame the track a little bit for last time. She wasn’t herself from the get go that day for whatever reason. Hopefully, she’s back on track.”

Richard Eramia, jockey Cosmic Burst, winner

“I saw a lot of speed on paper. I was waiting until the last quarter and she responded really well. I really like this filly. She has a lot of talent. Last time she didn’t like the race track because it was so sloppy, but today she did like she was supposed to do. She ran like she was supposed to last time.”

McLean Robertson, trainer Amy’s Challenge, second

“She got a little keyed up in front of the crowd. Her other races have been sprints so she’s been on the backside where it’s quiet. I noticed in the post parade she broke out (in sweat) more than I would have liked. She was pretty pumped. She came to run. She needs to relax a little better than that to run two turns. I was pleased with her effort.”

Jareth Loveberry, jockey Amy’s Challenge, second

“She’s still learning. She ran three of those sprints so fast and wouldn’t quite settle. If I could have gotten that second quarter just a second slower, I think she keeps going. But, she was just kind of excited, first time running two turns. She ran hard even running for home. She was tired, but they came to her and she dug in and tried. That’s all I can ask for her.”

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