The Honeybee Stakes (G3) was supposed to turn out one of two ways: confirmation of Chanel’s Legacy talent or redemption for Elate.
Neither of those events happened as It Tiz Well shipped in from the same West Coast barn as Unique Bella to score her first stakes victory in record time.
Honeybee Stakes (G3) – Oaklawn Park – March 11, 2017
IT TIZ WELL made her debut on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard when running second to superstar stablemate Unique Bella in the Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) on January 8, but really came into her own in the March 11 Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer shipped the Arch filly in for the 1 1/16-mile race and tabbed Corey Nakatani to be aboard for the first time. It Tiz Well bided her time behind the front runners before ranging up rounding the final bend in her two-turn debut to challenge. She found company in the form of Benner Island, but shook loose of that rival to eventually score by a length in a stakes-record time of 1:42.61.
It Tiz Well added another 50 points to her total for a starting berth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 5. She’s already faced the juggernaut that is her stablemate and likely won’t come up against Unique Bella again until the Kentucky Oaks. Hollendorfer has already said the Fantasy Stakes (G3) back at Oaklawn on April 14 is under consideration for It Tiz Well. Unique Bella, meanwhile, is pointing for the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) on April 8.
Benner Island drastically outran her 22-1 odds in second, 3 3/4 lengths up on Elate, the 9-5 favorite in third. The Speightstown filly will get a chance to prove it no fluke as trainer Brad Cox has already said she’s headed to the Fantasy.
Elate waited for a brief moment after breaking in tight between two rivals, then proceeded to run in the rear of the pack on the backstretch before picking off runners late. She’s going to have to kick it up a notch if she hopes to make the Oaks field.
Chanel’s Legacy ran on the inside of It Tiz Well and had every opportunity to go when the winner did but flattened out and finished sixth. It was a head scratching effort after the gray lass easily scored in the prior two sophomore filly stakes at Oaklawn – the Dixie Belle and Martha Washington Stakes. Trainer Lynn Chleborad said the Dominus filly came back well and is possible for the Fantasy, so Chanel’s Legacy will get another shot to prove herself.