An evenly matched group of 10 sophomore fillies, headed by Stays in Vegas, Be Mine, Gone to Bali and Lady Valeur, will be center stage in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Honeymoon Stakes at a mile and one eighth on the Santa Anita turf.
Sunday marks the 65th renewal of the Honeymoon, which is named for movie mogul Louis B. Mayer’s brilliant filly who won seven stakes at age three in 1946. Run at Hollywood Park from 1952 through 2013, it will be contested for the third consecutive year at Santa Anita.
STAYS IN VEGAS: An ultra consistent daughter of City Zip, she comes off a game head victory here in the Grade III, one mile turf Senorita Stakes May 7 and has won three out her last four races, all stakes, under Alex Solis. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Stays in Vegas has five wins (all stakes) and one second from seven starts. The only time she was well beaten was when she was fifth, 12 ¼ lengths behind stablemate Songbird five starts back in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante Sept. 5. Owned by Jim and Janet Rome’s Jungle Racing, LLC or Kevin Nish’s KMN Racing, LLC, she has good tactical speed routing and has amassed earnings of $295,600.
BE MINE: Lightly raced, this rapidly ascending Phil D’Amato trainee went head and head with Stays in Vegas and ended up second, beaten a head in the Senorita Stakes May 7. Purchased privately following an impressive first-out maiden $32,000 claiming score going a mile turf Feb. 10 at Tampa Bay Downs, Be Mine was a rousing 5 ¼ length starter allowance winner going a mile on grass two starts back here on April 1. Owned by Agave Racing Stable or Little Red Feather Racing, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Twirling Candy will be making her fourth overall start in the Honeymoon and she’s been favored in both of her Southern California starts.
DECKED OUT: Rallying from far off the pace, this Kentucky-bred filly by Street Boss was a close fourth to Stays in Vegas here in the Senorita Stakes May 7 when ridden by Edwin Maldonado. Trained by Keith Desormeaux, she’ll be reunited with his Hall of Fame brother, Kent, who guided her from far back to take the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles Providencia Stakes over a yielding turf by 2 ¾ lengths on April 9. With an apparent abundance of speed in the lineup, Decked Out will hope to be flying late for the “Brothers Desormeaux.” Owned by Voss or Big Chief Racing, LLC, Decked Out has an overall mark of 11-2-1-3 and has earnings of $228,514.
LADY VALEUR: With two wins from three tries at 1 1/8 miles on turf, this Irish-bred filly pressed the pace and went on to an impressive 1 ½ length allowance score over the course and distance on May 20. Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and trained by Paddy Gallagher, Lady Valeur appears primed for a big effort at a distance she is well familiar with. Second in her debut in Ireland, she has two wins and a pair of seconds in five stateside starts with Gallagher and will be ridden back by the meet’s leading jockey, Rafael Bejarano.
GONE TO BALI: Trained by Jeff Mullins, this Florida-bred showed marked improvement when winning a one mile turf allowance in gate to wire fashion at Golden Gate Fields April 29—earning a career best 86 Beyer Speed figure. A winner of two out of her last three races, all with Tyler Baze, she’ll likely be on or near the lead in her first stakes assignment Saturday. A Florida-bred filly by Gone Astray, Gone to Bali is owned by Truline Racing and has won three out of her six starts.
THE GRADE II HONEYMOON STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS
Race 8 (of 9)
Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PDT
1. Lady Valeur—Rafael Bejarano—120
2. Gone to Bali—Tyler Baze—120
3. Stays in Vegas—Alex Solis—122
4. Decked Out—Kent Desormeaux—122
5. Cheekaboo—Mike Smith—120
6. Be Mine—Flavien Prat—120
7. Jeremy’s Legacy—Santiago Gonzalez—120
8. How Unusual—Stewart Elliot—120
9. Where’s the D—Mario Gutierrez—120
10. Sutton’s Smile—Joe Talamo—120
Due to a weather forecast calling for well above average temperatures, first post time on Sunday at Santa Anita will be at 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.
Source: Santa Anita Park