Exotic Plays for May 29 Honeymoon Stakes
Seven three-year-old fillies will race 1 1/8 miles on the Santa Anita turf in the $100,000 Honeymoon S. (G3) on May 29.
#1 Island of Love: Undefeated as a two-year-old while racing in Rome, Irish-bred Island of Love is coming off her first win of her three-year-old campaign, a 2 1/4-length victory in the Senorita S. (G3) at Santa Anita on May 7 in which she bested rivals #4 Fuente Ovejuna and #6 Sterling Crest.
The bay daughter of Kodiac clocked a career-best 87 Brisnet Speed figure last out in her first start with jockey Juan Hernandez, who retains the mount and has won 22% of his starts this meet. Conditioner Philip D’Amato is a 21% winner at Santa Anita and a 22% winner with horses making their second start off a layoff.
#2 Ballet Dancing: Making a move up in class for trainer Simon Callaghan (a 14% winner this meet), Ballet Dancing scored her first win last out with a three-quarters of a length triumph in a maiden special weight at Santa Anita on May 7.
Her 85 Brisnet figure is the third highest last race speed rating among the field. Callaghan has finished in the money in 47% of graded stakes races over the last three years, so Ballet Dancing is an excellent candidate to crack the trifecta on Sunday.
#3 Gold Dragon Queen: Third to Cairo Memories in the 1 1/8-mile Providencia S. (G3) at Santa Anita last out, Gold Dragon Queen will make her first start for trainer Librado Barocio and will get a new rider in Kyle Frey. The Goldencents daughter’s only career win came at today’s distance at Santa Anita in a race that was moved off the turf to dirt in December.
Gold Dragon Queen owns a 5 0-0-2 record on turf, with her two third-place finishes coming at this track.
#4 Fuente Ovejuna: Against rivals Island of Love and Sterling Crest, Fuente Ovejuna came home fourth of six in the Senorita last out and placed last of six two back at the same distance in the Lady of Shamrock S.
Since shipping to Santa Anita, the chestnut has never placed better than fourth in three tries on the grass, and in seven career starts, she has just one win and a third-place showing.
#5 Cairo Memories: Winner of the Providencia on April 9, Cairo Memories will make her first start in nearly two months for conditioner Bob Hess, a 16% winner this meet.
The daughter of Cairo Prince posted an 88 Brisnet figure at 1 1/8 miles in her return to turf and bested Sterling Crest by 4 1/2 lengths and beat third-place Gold Dragon Queen by another 1 3/4 lengths.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will stay in the saddle for the gray three-year-old, who is 3-for-4 lifetime on turf, with her lone loss coming in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), where she finished ninth to Pizza Bianca.
Hess is just a 12% winner in 2022 and a 6% winner in graded stakes races over the last three years.
#6 Sterling Crest: With a 6 1-2-2 record at Santa Anita, Sterling Crest will make her seventh start at the track and first with high percentage trainer George Papaprodromou, an 18% winner this meet.
The chestnut granddaughter of Scat Daddy has been beaten by rivals Island of Love and Cairo Memories in her two most recent starts and will likely take a back seat to those two in Sunday’s test.
#7 Ellamira: The Street Boss filly will move up in class after winning the Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate on May 1. Her 79 Brisnet figure is the lowest last race speed rating among the field, but she has the late speed to potentially hit the board against tougher competition.
Frank Alvarado, a 50% winner when pairing up with trainer Steven Specht over the last two months, will retain the mount.
Honeymoon exotics wagers
- $5 Exacta: 1 with 5
- $4 Trifecta: 1,5 with 1,5 with 2,6 ($16)
- $2 Superfecta: 1,5 with 1,5 with 2,6 with 2,3,6,7 ($24)