Honeybee Stakes Predictions, Odds, Picks (Oaklawn Park)

Honeybee Stakes Post Position and Odds

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PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
T Gaffalione S Asmussen
J Velazquez R Brisset
L Contreras D W Lukas
R Santana Jr J Ortiz
P Cotto Jr C Deville
6 RED QUEEN 20/1
F Arrieta G Garcia

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Best Bets for the Honeybee Stakes

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$20 Win, Place and Show – Yuugiri = $60

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Yuugiri (5/2).

Honeybee Stakes

Coming in off two big wins over the track, Secret Oath will look to further her Kentucky Oaks credentials when she headlines a compact field of six set for Saturday’s Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

The Arrogate filly has won 3-of-5 lifetime for her Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas but has looked especially good since arriving at the Hot Springs oval. In two races at Oaklawn Park, Secret Oath has won an allowance race and then last month’s Martha Washington Stakes by a combined 15 ½-lengths. The lone late runner in the field, she will look to once again blow by her competition with Luis Contreras in the saddle.

Chief among her competition is the returning Yuugiri. Trained by Rodolphe Brisset, the daughter of Shackleford was a solid second in the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs when last seen three months ago. The speedy filly will also have the advantage of having top rider John Velazquez in the saddle for the first time on Saturday in the 1 1/16-mile test.

Another interesting contender in the Honeybee will be Free Like a Girl. Competing in Louisiana, the daughter of El Deal has competed in seven straight stakes races, and has won five of them. Leaving state-bred company as she travels to Arkansas, promises to be a big test for the experienced filly.

A Kentucky Oaks qualifying race, the Honeybee will offer points on a scale of 50-20-10-5 to the top four finishers.

Honeybee Stakes Predictions

Secret Oath

A winner of two straight powerful races at Oaklawn Park, this daughter of Arrogate is strictly the one to beat in Saturday’s Honeybee. Trained by the legendary D. Wayne Lukas, she showed some promise last fall in Kentucky, but has really turned things up a notch since arriving in Arkansas. Her 8 ¼-length win in allowance company on New Year’s Eve was probably enough to win this, and then she followed it up with an even more impressive victory when winning the Martha Washington by more than seven lengths. She doesn’t have much early speed, so there’s always a chance that she just won’t fire, but a repeat of her last two will likely see her in the winner’s circle once again. The only real negative on her on Saturday will be the odds, which could dip below even money.


This daughter of Shackleford probably has the most potential to be a very nice filly in the race other than Secret Oath. Saturday will mark her 3-year-old debut after finishing off a juvenile season that saw her win once in three starts. The lone victory came in an impressive debut performance going 6 furlongs at Churchill Downs. After that, she finished second in a pair of two turn stakes races at the same Louisville oval. Her second in the Grade 2 Golden Rod was especially strong and came in her most recent outing, three months ago. She has good speed, and could come back running fresh. She looks like the biggest threat to beat the favorite, and with the odds difference, I am going to take a shot with her.


Trained by Steve Asmussen, this daughter of Gun Runner saw a three-race winning streak snapped last time when Secret Oath ran right on by her in the Martha Washington. While she could improve in her second start at Oaklawn Park, she got away with a pretty easy pace last time and still offered little resistance to the winner. It seems like the step up in class revealed her ceiling and now she comes back against the same impressive winner. She is a pretty nice filly, but I can’t find a good reason why to expect her to turn the tables this time around.

Free Like a Girl

The princess of Louisiana-breds, this daughter of El Deal has already run 11 times since making her debut last May at Lone Star Park. She has never finished out of the money, collecting six wins and has won five of her last six. She is also a five-time stakes winner, but most of those came against fellow statebreds. The Carl Deville-trained filly will now get a class test as she comes to Oaklawn Park to run against the toughest competition she has ever faced. Still, she has been tested against decent horses, and has never been better. This seems like a good spot and time in which to test the waters with her. She is in with a shot.

Ice Orchid

This daughter of Super Saver has improved with each start, having finished third, then second, before scoring a victory in her third-lifetime start. All three came in maiden special weight races at Oaklawn Park for trainer John Ortiz. She looks to be figuring things out, but now makes the big jump up into graded stakes racing after winning just two weeks ago. Further improvement could make her a threat in here, but ultimately the jump up in class will likely be a little too much to expect a win. It’s more likely that she will be competing for a spot in the exotics.

Red Queen

The good news is that the daughter of Gormley was able to win her last race and it came over the Oaklawn Park track. The bad news is that it came in maiden claiming and in her fourth-lifetime start. This seems like an extremely aggressive race placing after not being competitive in a pair of maiden races and then needing two starts in maiden claiming to earn a win. I find her hard to recommend.

How to Watch the Honeybee Stakes

Honeybee Stakes Race Information
What Honeybee Stakes (Grade 3)
Location Oaklawn Park
Time Saturday, February 26 — 3:10pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $300,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

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.

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