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Check out our predictions and odds for the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park!
R Santana Jr
I Ortiz Jr
TAKE CHARGE BRIANA
D W Lukas
BOSS LADY BAILEY
Fresh off an impressive win in the Martha Washington, Wet Paint looks to make it two straight at Oaklawn Park when she tops a full field of 12 sophomore fillies in Saturday’s Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes.
A daughter of Blame, the Godolphin homebred is 2-for-4 overall, having broken her maiden at Horseshoe Indianapolis in her second career start.
After running a solid second in a Turfway Park allowance race to close out her 2-year-old season, the Brad Cox-trained bay filly came from off the pace on a wet-fast racing surface to win her first stakes race going away.
Chief among her opposition in the 1 1/16-mile Honeybee will be the returning Grand Love.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, who became the first trainer ever to win 10,000 races earlier this week, she set the pace in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies before fading to sixth most recently.
Before that the daughter of Gun Runner impressively won her debut before finishing third in the Grade 3 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs.
As a Kentucky Oaks trail race, the $300,000 Honeybee will offer qualifying points on a scale of 50-20-15-10-5 to the top five finishers.
This daughter of Blame could have the advantage of a favorable pace set-up on Saturday. Having proven her ability to win from behind early, like she did last time impressively winning the local Martha Washington, she should get a solid pace to run at here.
Bred to be good at a distance, and to improve with maturity, she appears to be on the verge of becoming a filly to watch on the Kentucky Oaks trail.
She will have to beat a deeper field this time around, but getting better with each start for trainer Brad Cox, I expect another strong effort on Saturday. She is the top pick.
Quite possibly the most talented filly in the field, this daughter of Gun Runner was an impressive winner of her debut last summer at Saratoga.
Off only that easy maiden winner in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint, she was thrown into very tough company around two turns in her next two. She showed good speed in both, but was outkicked when third in the Grade 3 Pocahontas and then sixth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Freshened for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, she should be ready to show plenty of speed in the Honeybee. A threat to go all the way, she could be just a little softened up, though, by an expected solid pace.
An experienced daughter of Malibu Moon, this filly has only once finished out of the money in nine career starts. Of course, that lone poor finish was also her only previous try against graded stakes company.
She got her first race over the Oaklawn Park track for trainer Mike Maker last time and looked good in dispatching her competition in allowance company.
Off her recent form, you cannot dismiss her chances here, but I’m just not sure that she is quite good enough to handle a field like this.
An impressive winner in two of her five career starts, including the local Year’s End Stakes, this daughter of Cross Traffic must be respected if she can find her best on Saturday.
She was actually the favorite last time in the Martha Washington last time, but could not find enough to stay with the strong late run of Wet Paint.
While it’s not out of the question that she could turn the tables this time for trainer Kenny McPeek, I prefer the filly that beat her last time. She is a threat, but I like a few others better.
The familiar connections of owner Mike Repole, trainer Todd Pletcher, and rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. bring this New York shipper to test the waters in Arkansas.
A stakes winner against fellow New York-breds, she has been beaten in each of her last three races. Still, I see enough in the last two, which came against open company, to believe that she can compete against this bunch.
Having already faced good horses, and with the ability to pass horses, I believe she is a filly who can ship in and run well on Saturday.
This daughter of Mshawish brought a perfect 3-for-3 record in Oklahoma to Oaklawn Park last time for the Martha Washington. After setting the early pace, she had little left for the stretch drive and faded to fifth.
She did look very good in her wins at Remington Park for trainer Todd Fincher, but perhaps the class level last time proved too much for her.
She deserves another shot, but with a lot of other speed signed on for the Honeybee, even an improvement in her second start at Oaklawn will likely not be enough to get the job done.
This Frosted filly has compiled a nice record of four wins and a second from six lifetime starts. Her wins certainly came against less competition than she will see here, but you have to respect a horse who likes to win.
Most recently, she stretched out for the first time and went all the way around in a local allowance race.
There is plenty of other speed to make her work early, and that, along with the step up in class has me liking other fillies better in the Honeybee.
Although she has only raced twice in her career, this gray daughter of Liam’s Map looks like a filly with a future. Though she only finished fourth in her debut at Churchill Downs last November, she overcame a tough trip and was only beaten 1 1/2-lengths.
Off that, she came to Oaklawn Park and toyed with a maiden field last month. It looks like she has plenty of talent, but will need to prove it going two-turns as her first two races were both 6-furlong sprints.
While this represents a serious challenge, I do believe she will fit with this level on ability. She is my top longshot.
This daughter of Connect twice tried graded stakes company last year after winning her debut at Ellis Park in July.
She didn’t do a whole lot in either and was dropped down into allowance company for the last two. After a forgettable effort on a sloppy track, she rebounded last time to run a pretty good second behind Towhead.
With a decent effort over the racetrack under her belt, I cannot completely dismiss her, but there is just not enough in her past performances to expect a huge effort here.
A gray daughter of Collected, this one has only won once in five career starts and that came in a maiden claiming race three starts back.
To her credit, she has not been embarrassed in two subsequent stakes starts at Oaklawn Park. After pressing the pace in the Year’s End, she faded to finish fourth, but last time she stayed on better to finish second in the Martha Washington.
With plenty of other speed in this race and an outside post, I believe she will be hard pressed to duplicate that finish on Saturday.
Trained by the legendary D. Wayne Lukas, this Curlin filly will be getting her sixth chance in stakes company after breaking her maiden in her third career start last summer.
In the first five, she made little impact, with a well-beaten third being the best of the bunch. Most recently she finished fourth behind Wet Paint in the Martha Washington.
In fact, she has been beaten by several fillies in this field in her last two starts. I do not like her chances here.
This daughter of Magna Graduate looked good in winning in her first three career starts easily at Remington Park.
Those all came against fellow Oklahoma-birds, though. Facing open company for the first time last out, she faded badly.
She will make her first for trainer Dallas Stewart on Saturday, but off her latest, it’s hard to recommend in this spot.
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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