Friday, March 11, 2016

Cosmic Evolution Hoping to be Diamond D Ranch’s Next Star Graduate

Another year, another chance for a Diamond D Ranch graduate to win a stakes race for 3-year-old fillies at Oaklawn.

Cosmic Evolution, who received her early training at the east Texas facility, is scheduled to make her two-turn debut in Saturday’s $200,000 Honeybee (G3), a 1 1/16-mile race that is the final major local prep for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 9.

Rachel Alexandra won the 2009 Fantasy, then worth $250,000, en route to Horse of the Year honors. Another Diamond D graduate, Promise Me Silver, won Oaklawn’s $100,000 Dixie Belle and $100,000 Instant Racing last year.

Cosmic Evolution, who broke her maiden in the $100,000 Debutante Stakes June 27 at Churchill Downs, has been targeting the Honeybee since late last year. Trainer Lon Wiggins used a Feb. 6 entry-level allowance sprint at Oaklawn, which Cosmic Evolution won by 1 1/4 lengths, as the filly’s bridge to the Honeybee. The trainer said “every indication” is Cosmic Evolution, a chestnut daughter of 2002 Kentucky Derby runner-up Proud Citizen, can carry her speed two turns, noting favorable early reports from Diamond D head trainer Scooter Dodwell.

“Even when Scooter watched her short breezes, she always galloped out much better than a normal horse,” Wiggins said. “We’ve been kind of looking forward to running her two turns since the spring, this time last year.”

Cosmic Evolution won 1 of 3 starts in 2015, a campaign cut short because of a minor leg problem, Wiggins said.

Cosmic Evolution drew the rail for the Honeybee and will be ridden by her regular jockey, Hall of Famer Calvin Borel. Borel was also the regular rider of Rachel Alexandra, who made her first 10 starts for Wiggins’ father, trainer Hal Wiggins, who is now a steward at Fair Grounds.

“He’s pulling for us,” Lon Wiggins said. “He’s very happy and excited for us.”

Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, a two-time winner of Oaklawn’s $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), are 2016 finalists for induction into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

On to the Azeri

Multiple graded stakes winner Sarah Sis will make her next start in the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 19 at Oaklawn, trainer Ingrid Mason said Friday morning.

Sarah Sis had also been under consideration for the $200,000 Inside Information Stakes (G2) March 19 at Gulfstream Park. Mason cited travel arrangements and moving into the warmer, humid Florida climate as reasons for remaining in Arkansas, where Sarah Sis has wintered the last two years.

“It was too difficult to get her to Gulfstream at this time,” Mason said. “The flights are kind of screwie louie. ... It’s hotter down there.”

Sarah Sis won the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) last year at Oaklawn. In her last start, she finished fourth in the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) Feb. 14 at Oaklawn.

Final furlong

After the track was closed for training Wednesday and Thursday morning (poor weather conditions), Oaklawn opened at its normal time (7 a.m. Central) Friday. The track was rated sloppy. ... Streamline will make her next start in the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 19 at Oaklawn, trainer Brian Williamson said Friday morning. Streamline won the $100,000 Pippin Stakes Jan. 17 at Oaklawn. ... Trainer Brad Cox said stakes-winner Twirling Cinnamon will return to one-turn races after finishing last of eight in an allowance/optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles Saturday at Oaklawn. Twirling Cinnamon, who was coming off a victory in the $50,000 Space City Stakes Jan. 30 at Sam Houston Race Park, tired badly after being rank and running off with jockey Jon Court. Cox said Twirling Cinnamon is under consideration for the $100,000 Gazebo Stakes, a 6-furlong race March 26 at Oaklawn.

 

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