Friday, August 18, 2017
Honeybee Runners Meet Again in Grade 1 Alabama
Two top finishers from maybe the key race of the 2017 Oaklawn meeting are entered in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (G1) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Saratoga. It Tiz Well and Elate, first and third, respectively, in the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 11 at Oaklawn are among nine horses entered in the 1 ¼-mile Alabama.
Eight of the 11 Honeybee starters have returned to win, including six in stakes company.
It Tiz Well captured the $300,000 Delaware Oaks (G3) July 8 at Delaware Park in her last start.
Elate, a daughter of Oaklawn stakes winners Medaglia d’Oro and Cheery, captured the $50,000 Light Hearted Stakes June 15 at Delaware Park and was second, beaten a head, in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) July 23 at Saratoga in her last start.
It Tiz Well is scheduled to break from post 3 Saturday under Drayden Van Dyke, who grew up near Oaklawn and won an Eclipse Award as the country’s champion apprentice jockey of 2014.
Elate is scheduled to break from post 7 for Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 1986, and will be ridden by Jose Ortiz, Saratoga’s leading rider this year.
Also entered in the Alabama is Holy Helena, who is coming off a victory over males in the $1 million Queen’s Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, July 2 at Woodbine.
Probable post time for the Alabama, which goes as race 9, is 4:22 p.m. (Central). All starters carry 121 pounds.
Other Honeybee starters to return and win stakes races are Ever So Clever (G3, $400,000 Fantasy), Benner Island (G2, $200,000 Eight Belles), Someday Soon ($75,000 Tomboy) and Chanel’s Legacy ($65,000 Panthers).
Two other Honeybee starters, My Sweet Stella and Lovely Bernadette, have subsequently won allowance/optional claiming events, with the latter also finishing third in the $100,000 Pucker Up Stakes (G3) Saturday at Arlington Park. My Sweet Stella is entered in an allowance/optional claimer Friday at Saratoga.
The Honeybee was Oaklawn’s final major prep for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 14.
Hail to the Chief?
Chief Know It All, an allowance/optional claiming winner earlier this year at Oaklawn, is the 2-1 second choice in the program for the $150,000 Canadian Derby (G3) Saturday at Northlands Park in Canada.
Chief Know It All will be making his first start for trainer Robertino Diodoro, who claimed the gray son of Flashy Bull for $100,000 out of a second-place finish in a June 30 allowance/optional claimer at Churchill Downs.
Diodoro was Oaklawn’s second-leading trainer this year with 31 victories. He and Chief Know It All’s new co-owner, Randy Howg, teamed to win the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 15 at Oaklawn with Inside Straight.
Inside Straight, in his third start after being privately purchased by Howg, ran fourth in last year’s Canadian Derby.
Chief Know It All made his first 10 career starts for Brad Cox, Oaklawn’s third-leading trainer this year with 26 victories. Chief Know It All won his 3-year-old debut Jan. 27 at Oaklawn, then finished 10th in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20. The 1 1/16-mile Southwest is Oaklawn’s second of four major preps for the Kentucky Derby.
In the Canadian Derby, Chief Know It All is scheduled to break from post 4 under Rico W. Walcott, who guided the Diodoro-trained Broadway Empire and Edison to victories in the 1 3/8-mile race in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Probable post time for the Canadian Derby, which goes as race 11, is 6:30 p.m. (Central). All starters carry 122 pounds.
Northlands Park is in Edmonton, Alberta. Diodoro and Howg are both from Canada.
Katie Clawson, Oaklawn’s leading apprentice jockey this year, continues to lead the standings at Indiana Grand with 70 victories, including a career-high four on Tuesday’s card. Clawson, 20, won eight races at Oaklawn, highlighted by her first career riding double Feb. 17. She rides with a five-pound weight allowance. Deshawn Parker, who rode four winners this year at Oaklawn, is second to Clawson at Indiana Grand with 62 victories. … Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Marquee Miss (2016 Dixie Belle and Martha Washington) is entered in an allowance turf sprint Saturday at Ellis Park, as is her older full sister, Marquee Cal Gal. … Oaklawn-raced Collected and Hard Aces are entered in the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1) Saturday at Del Mar. Collected, unbeaten in three starts this year (all stakes), finished fourth in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds in 2016 at Oaklawn. Probable post time for the Pacific Classic is 7:30 p.m. (Central). The 1 ¼-mile race goes as race 8. … Oaklawn-raced Vexatious is entered in the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (G1) Saturday at Del Mar. … Sandwiched between the Pacific Classic and Del Mar Oaks is an allowance/optional claiming sprint that drew Rockin Rudy, who finished 12th in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15 at Oaklawn. ... Perfect Wife, unraced since finishing 10th in the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies March 11 at Oaklawn, recorded a 5-furlong bullet work (1:01.18) Tuesday morning at Saratoga. … Honeybee ninth Tap of War, unraced since an April 7 allowance at Keeneland, returned to the work tab Thursday morning at Churchill Downs, breezing 3 furlongs in :37.40.