The Grade 3 Honeymoon Stakes is Saturday’s feature at Santa Anita, at 1 1/8 miles on turf for 3-year-old fillies.
The race isn’t named for a post wedding holiday. The filly Honeymoon was the first California-bred to win over $100,000. The film producer and co-founder of MGM Studios Louis B. Mayer bred and owned her.
Foaled in 1943, she was a stakes winner from ages two through five. She won both the Hollywood Derby and Oaks at three. One of her offspring, Honey’s Alibi, sired a filly called Charming Alibi. She produced the great mare Dahlia, winner of the Washington D.C. International and Ascot’s King George, among other big races.
Nine fillies go to post for the Honeymoon. Eight of them will be trying the trip for the first time. Among them are favorite Stela Star, whose first four runs came in Ireland. These include a win in the Grade 3 Killavullan Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown.
Honeymoon May End Up A Speed Duel
In her only US start Stela Star ran second in the March 7 China Doll Stakes over a mile on the Santa Anita turf. That was the best placing of the five runners in the Honeymoon field who contested the China Doll.
Red Lark is the only course and distance winner in the field. That was back on February 9. She finished fifth in the China Doll. Like Stela Star, she started her career in Ireland, where she failed to win in five starts.
Second favorite Laura’s Light has shown speed in her races, as has third choice Parkour. The latter may need a lone lead, as her only two wins have come gate to wire.
Often, when two horses battle in a speed duel, one will stay on and one will fade out of contention. Of the two, Laura’s Light may be the one who lasts home, as Parkour might back down if she’s eyeballed for the early lead.
Or, it may be that someone comes from behind to land the spoils. Both Stela Star and Red Lark are closers. Red Lark gets the nod in the Honeymoon.