Lightly raced Pangburn is scheduled to return to stakes action in the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Oaklawn.The 1 1/16-mile Honeybee is the final major local prep for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 4. Probable post time for the Honeybee, race 8 on a nine-race card, is 4:38 p.m. (Central).
Pangburn, among nine horses entered in the Honeybee, is coming off a visually impressive 1 ¼-length entry-level allowance victory Feb. 20, her second in three career starts. The daughter of Congrats earned a career-high 78 Beyer Speed Figure, despite breaking last, still being last at the three-eighths pole and coming six-wide into the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile race under Jesus Castanon.
Pangburn hadn’t started since finishing second in the $200,000 Pocahontas Stakes (G2) Sept. 6 at Churchill Downs. Trainer Kenny McPeek had hoped to start Pangburn’s 3-year-old campaign in a Feb. 5 entry-level allowance race, using that as a steppingstone to the Honeybee. The race, however, didn’t fill.
“I’m not particularly worried about the turnaround time,” McPeek said Friday morning.
McPeek said he was able to sneak in an “easy” half-mile breeze Monday and do a little gate work Wednesday. “She’s drilling the feed tub, and she’s happy. “No problem. We do wish we had an extra week, but it looks like it is what it is.”
Pangburn, owned by Arkansas lumberman John Ed Anthony, is scheduled to break from post 5 under Castanon and carry 119 pounds. She is the 7-2 co-second choice in the program. McPeek said he hopes to use the Honeybee as a prep for the Fantasy and the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 1 at Churchill Downs.
Sarah Sis, runner-up in the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes Jan. 15 and the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31, is also 7-2 for the Honeybee. Sarah Sis was beaten a neck by Promise Me Silver in the Dixie Belle and a head by champion Take Charge Brandi in the Martha Washington.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas didn’t enter Take Charge Brandi in the Honeybee, but will still be represented by the ultra-fast Super Saks. Super Saks broke her maiden by 11 lengths sprinting Jan. 30 and should be alone on a clear early lead Saturday.
“I think she’s special,” said Lukas, Lukas who has won the Honeybee a record five times, including the first four runnings (1988-1991). Super Saks is scheduled to break from post 3 under Terry Thompson. Desert Valley, Oceanwave (2 for 3 lifetime), Bootsy’s Girl, Indian Annie and Purr complete the field.