The Fillies Are Back on the KYO Trail! The Honeybee Nearly Fills

The Honeybee (Grade 3) (KYO)- $300.000 Purse
OP- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
February 26, 2022

Last week, only six horses ran in the first 50-point KYO race of the season, the Alexandra at FG. There would be five horses that ran against the boys in The Risen Star, at the same race track on the same day. So this made it very interesting to see what would happen “the week after”. At the time the Alexandra preview was written, there were only seven horses entered in The Honeybee. On the day that SRF article for the race was published, the amount of horses increased to ten. It was speculated that the small field for the Alexandra could result in more horses trying the KYO path that may not have been thinking about it as much. Ultimately, the fillies that ran in the Risen Star would not have a good day, and later that day, two things were noticed: the entries for the Honeybee jumped up to 12, and the entries for the Rebel, which were 15 at the time, dropped to 13. Were they the same two horses moving out of the Rebel and into the Honeybee? We’ll never know, of course. Now here we are, with the eventual field size for the Honeybee ending up at 11, and Rebel getting back to its 14.

There are still going to be four fillies in the Rebel, leaving us to wonder if we would see a few new faces on the KYO trail for the Honeybee. You never know who would have been here and would not have, and I will not claim to know what any of these trainers were thinking, but we do have four horses in the field with less than $100.000 in career earnings. It’s a great time to take a shot, and all four of them have shown their potential to their trainers to be entered here. They will be taking on seven others who have accomplished more in their careers up to this point, making for an interesting showdown. They’ll all hope to do what last year’s winner, Naples, did for Arindel, last season. That’s quite a lead to follow and all, given she also won the KYO and BC Distaff, but aiming high is never a bad thing. Here is our field!

#1- Spearmint Rhino (Arindel, ridden by E Jaramillo)- At the moment, Arindel has four horses in the top 12 of the KYO points. This gives him the luxury of having his top filly, Lailoni, a chance to run in the Rebel. Spearmint Rhino is one of those four horses, thanks to getting points from winning the Grade 2 Santa Ynez last month. That is only run at seven furlongs, so this filly is going to have to prove she can run longer better than her stablemates if she wants Arindel to pick her for the KYO if she is able to get there.

#2- Catawba (Sccj Stables, ridden by L Saez)- Five of this filly’s seven starts have come on the grass, and that was the right path for her as a two year old, enabling her to run in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. She would be a non factor in that race, and after failing to finish in the top three in a follow up start, she was moved to the main track last month. She’d win that six furlong optional claimer, but she looked good going longer in starts last season.

#3- Lotta Carnival (Oval Express Farms, ridden by D E Centeno)- In her third career start last month, this filly came on well in the stretch to earn a victory at TAM. Off of that, she comes here with some good looking six furlong works to back her up. The SRF number of 79 from that win will create some concerns at the betting window, but if you like a potential longshot, maybe she is the one.

#4- Sundragon (Keikowin Racing, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- This is one of those fillies under $100.000 in career earnings, but I suspect that the trainer would be taking this chance even if not for the small field size in the Alexandra. She’s looked sharp in her last two starts, each wins at over a mile. She is a sun dragon, so the rain that came in her first two starts obviously was not to her liking. Worked really well on the 10th at KEE, making her quite intriguing.

#5- Exactly (Smokey Stover, ridden by J C Ferrer)- $800.000. That’s the combined amount of two private sales transactions that surround the only race she has had in the meantime. Arriving at Smokey Stover, this filly who was very good on the NY-bred scene will look to impress on the KYO trail even more. That one start for Fractious came in the Martha Washington, where she placed second in a tight photo with Low Budget Java, who by the way was third last week in the Alexandra. Working well and should be one of the top choices here.

#6- Live Another Day (Allinthegate, ridden by R Bejarano)- She would win her first two starts, the second of which was a $103.000 allowance at SAR. That’s been the last time she hit the board, however, and she has not been within two lengths of a winner since. Most recently, she has been running against LA breds, and in two stakes, placed fourth each time. One being just a four horse field.

#7- Swiss Skydiver (Crocker Ggs, ridden by A Cedillo)- In seven starts, Swiss Skydiver has won twice and her biggest victory is also a $103.000 allowance at SAR. She followed that up well by placing second in the $200.000 Rags To Riches at CD, and then was a respectable fourth at the Grade 2 Demoiselle. She will need to rebound for a complete dud in her last outing, but if the trainer can identify why that happened and correct it, then she is a reasonable contender here.

#8- Canadian Flight (Mb Stables, ridden by C J Hernandez)- This is not a horse that is known for winning yet, doing so only once in her seven career starts. That has not stopped Mb Stables from running her at the stake level, where she has been since breaking her maiden on debut. She’s shown plenty of promise, including a fourth place effort in the Martha Washington, where she was within a length of the winner. Perhaps, any moment now, she’ll break through with a win against this type of field.

#9- Sister Crespi (Nakamura Stables, ridden by V R Carrasco)- The last two starts for this filly have come at TUP, and she earned the win in each of them by a combined seven lengths. Off of that, she is going to be making a pretty big jump into a KYO prep, but will get the services of the trainer’s favorite jockey to help with the task. Worked exceptionally well on the 7th, showing that she has the ability to do more than run at TUP.

#10- Lassitude (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by J R Velazquez)- Ten horses in, and just now we’re getting to the first one that ran in the BC Juvenile Fillies. Both she and the one to her outside did so. At DMR, Lassitude came from off the pace to get up for fifth and then followed it up well by placing second in the $500.000 Fifth Avenue for NY Breds. That must have made her run in the Martha Washington quite unsatisfying, and it seems as though she should be able to atone for that.

#11- Lemrun (Fractions, ridden by M Franco)- After back to back second place finishes in the Grade 1 DMR Debutante and the Grade 2 Chandelier, Lemrun has had to subpar performances, losing by a combined twelve lengths. One is the BC Juvenile Fillies, which can be forgiven, but an equal dud in the Demoiselle had raised eyebrows and has kept her on the shelf since the beginning of December. With some rest, the trainer hopes the Lemrun we saw in the early fall will be back.

Prediction: 5-10-8-4

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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