Three-year-old fillies will go to the post this Saturday in Oaklawn Park’s Grade 3, $300,000 Honeybee Stakes, but the Kentucky Oaks prep will be missing its anticipated headliner.
Owner Alex Lieblong, who campaigns Grade 1 winner Wicked Whisper with his wife, JoAnn, informed Oaklawn's publicity staff that the daughter of Liam's Map spiked a fever that will prevent her from getting the 3-year-old season started.
Wicked Whisper broke her maiden in her career debut, taking a six-furlong contest at Saratoga at the end of August. She followed by winning the Frizette (G1) at Belmont Park, then closed out her 2-year-old campaign with a fifth-place finish behind British Idiom in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Wicked Whisper worked as recently as Feb. 14 for trainer Steve Asmussen at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
Absent Wicked Whisper, Oaklawn's racing office lists four early probables for the 1 1/16-mile Honeybee, which awards Oaks points on a 50-20-10-5 scale to its top-four finishers. The Honeybee precedes the 1 1/16-mile Fantasy (G3), Oaklawn's top Oaks prep set for April 10.