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Familiar Faces Meet Again in Honeybee

Familiar Faces Meet Again in Honeybee
Photo: Oaklawn Park

The top five finishers from the Feb. 9 Martha Washington Stakes, led by the winner Sister Ginger and runner-up Rose to Gold, will meet four newcomers in Saturday’s $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3). The 1 1/16-mile race, which offers a total of 85 points towards entry into the Kentucky Oaks (G1), will be the seventh of 10 races Saturday.

Sister Ginger, who overcame a seasonal debut Jan. 11, to win the Martha Washington, tuned up for the Honeybee with an easy half mile breeze in 50 seconds Sunday. She drew post seven of nine and will once again have the services of leading rider Ricardo Santana Jr.

“We are anxious to see,” said Darren Fleming, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. “This will be a good little test for her to go up against the tougher company. She’s training good and doing good.”

Rose to Gold was making her Oaklawn debut in the Martha Washington and has continued to train well at her winter home in Hot Springs. The Friends Lake filly began her career last summer with runaway victories in two stakes at Calder. She will have the services of jockey Calvin Borel from post position three as she continues to move toward her ultimate goal of making the Kentucky Oaks via the series of races Oaklawn offers.

“Post 3 gives us some lovely options,” said trainer Sal Santoro. “She’s feeling good and we get (Calvin) Borel. I’m pretty happy about that. It’s pretty exciting. We are just hoping for the best. We’ll see what happens out of this race. If we come away with enough points I might skip the Fantasy and take her home. I’d train her on her home track and give her a little break and look to ship to Churchill eight or nine days out, but of course, it all depends on the points system now so we’ll have to see what happens Saturday first.”

Among the newcomers is WinStar Farm’s Awesome Mama, who is undefeated in two career starts, including an impressive two-length victory in a six-furlong optional allowance race at Oaklawn Jan. 27.

“She would have had to come back in two weeks for the Martha Washington and that was too quick so we had to wait for this one,” said trainer Shannon Ritter. “She’s been training well. It looks like we have some nice fillies around here. We’re stretching out for the first time, but she’s bred to go long and we just hope she can do it. It’s going to be a test.”

Two Florida based fillies, both impressive allowance winners at Gulfstream, testing the water in Hot Springs are Flash Forward, who came town with her stablemate Always In A Tiz right before he started in the Feb. 18 Southwest Stakes (G3) and Flashy Gray, who arrived Tuesday by plane along with Razorback Handicap (G3) runner San Pablo.

The complete field for the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes, in post-position order, with riders: Flash Forward, Robby Albarado; American Sugar, Alex Birzer; Rose to Gold, Calvin Borel; Awesome Mama, Ramon Vazquez; Sittin At The Bar, Mark Guidry; Broken Spell, Jon Court; Sister Ginger, Ricardo Santana Jr.; Flashy Gray, Mike Smith, and Liberty Girl, Luis Quinonez.

 

 

What the Nation is saying about Familiar Faces Meet Again in Honeybee...

Will try Awesome Mama in this one

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