Lady Hilltopper Gets The Top Spot In Honeymoon Stakes

Honeymoon Stakes (Grade 3)- $100.000 Purse
SA- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
May 29, 2022

The Honeymoon Stakes was a hard race to find a horse to like since the story for most of these fillies was more about using this race as a springboard for their career as opposed to what they had done already. If you wanted to beat the favorite, this may have been a good race to play the odds board and pick your longshot. That tactic would have worked if you chose 19/1 Lady Hilltopper, who we did have as one of our picks (but not on top). The move to the grass, as well as going long has been very successful since arriving with trainer Black N Gold Stable in a claimer. It’s their first win in the race, and jockey Ru Gonzalez follows up his first Daytona win by winning his first Honeymoon Stakes. Congratulations to them! The time of victory was 1:46.29, a middle of the road winning time for the stake. Let’s take a look!

(½ Mile- :46.80)- From the starting gate, two horses break away from their competitors and make their way down the frontstretch the first time and into the turn with about a two length lead. Tulip, trained by Lazy Eye, is one of them, and holds the lead at a half mile over Chaotic Good, from Bigchief Stables. There’s a group of three behind them, and running on the rail, Peppermint Diamonds, out of Allinthegate, is a half length in front of the top two choices on the board, Rock Creek’s Stayinschoolirene and Arindel’s The Nation. It’s another length back to our trailers, and that’s where our eventual winner, Lady Hilltopper does her early running for Black N Gold Stable. Lets Have Fun (Chubby Racing) is alongside her.

(3/4 Mile- 1:10.11)- Down the backstretch and into the turn, there isn’t anything new up front. Tulip is still fully in bloom with the lead and keeps Chaotic Good as her shadow to the inside. There’s still a gap of two lengths to third place Peppermint Diamonds as no one is making a run at the lead quite yet. Stayinschoolirene and The Nation hold their lines, but Lady Hilltopper starts to show a little more interest. A lane opened up to come between Peppermint Diamonds and Stayinschoolirene and she would look to take advantage of that. No such run was coming from Lets Have Fun.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Tulip and Chaotic Good hold on to the lead throughout the turn, and as we enter the homestretch, they both seemed like they could hold on even though the business was picking up behind them. Peppermint Diamonds continued to hold third, but had not made any progress on the two frontrunners. However, Lady Hilltopper would be able to, powering through the gap that opened up at the top of the turn and coming through. Completing the pass on Peppermint Diamonds would be imminent, and now we would see if she could get up to the pacesetters. Stayinschoolirene and The Nation still had time but needed to get moving. Lets Have Fun was a beaten horse at this point.

(Finish- 1:46.29)- With a furlong to go, it didn’t seem as though Lady Hilltopper was getting close enough to the top two, but then Tulip began to show signs of fatigue. Getting closer, and now with a half furlong remaining, Chaotic Good was still fighting and looked like she would be able to get this victory. A race prior in the Daytona Stakes, the trainer of Chaotic Good, Bigchief Stables, saw his horse, King Ranch, prevail in a wild photo for the win. This photo wouldn’t have as many horses in it, but could he win that way, again? Or would the jockey from Daytona, Ru Gonzalez be the one prevailed? Lady Hilltopper would battle hard all the way to the wire, and it would be the same jockey, not the same trainer with the win as Lady Hilltopper captures the win in a photo over Chaotic Good. Tulip tired to third, with Stayinschoolirene the best of the rest for fourth. Peppermint Diamonds, The Nation, and Lets Have Fun round it out.

About The Winner- Lady Hilltopper, trained by Black N Gold Stable and ridden to victory by Ru Gonzalez, is a three year old filly by Pinnacle West and is out of P O A. She was bred in Kentucky by Our Athletes as a third quarter two year old and acquired by Black N Gold with a $16.000 claim in February of this year. The win is her third in six starts and first stake win of any type. Her career earnings are now $112.580.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Lady Hilltopper Black N Gold Stable Gonzalez Ru 19.80   1hd 1:46.29  
  Chaotic Good Bigchief Stables Bravo J 5.20   21 1:46.33  
  Tulip Lazy Eye Pyfer J 10.65   31/2 1:46.54  
  Stayinschoolrene Rock Creek Espinoza V 3.00   43/4 1:46.68  
  Peppermint Diamonds Allinthegate Cedillo A 17.35   51 1:46.84  
  The Nation Arindel Gutierrez Mario 1.20   61 1:47.16  
  Lets Have Fun Chubby Racing Maldonado E 6.95   7 1:47.41  

Track: Firm

Time: :464  1:10   1:34   1:461

$2 Mutuel Prices:

3 – Lady Hilltopper 41.60 17.90 19.40
2 – Chaotic Good   6.40 4.60
5 – Tulip     7.60

$1 Exacta: 3 – 2 Paid 87.00

$1 Trifecta: 3 – 2 – 5 Paid 1,204.40

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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