Another stakes race at Gulfstream Park meant another big price for bettors Sunday when San Dare, ridden by Mark Guidry, stormed home at 11-1 in the $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT).
The 5-year-old Dare and Go mare trailed the field into the final turn, circled five wide to get into contention in the stretch and closed strongly in the middle of the track to nip Calista in the final strides by a head. Laurica rallied as well to get third, 1 1/2 length behind Calista and a neck ahead of Remediate. The final time for the 1 1/16-mile turf test for older filles and mares was 1:46.19.
Amonita, the 7-5 favorite in the field of 10, was sixth after racing on the outside in mid-pack and lacking any closing punch. Falls City Handicap (gr. II) winner Allamerican Bertie, 2-1 in the betting while trying the turf for the first time in her 12-race career, faded after setting the pace and finished last. Mystic Lady was scratched.
Trained by Rick Hiles for owner D. Mounts, San Dare was coming off a game second in the Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) on a yielding Churchill Downs lawn Nov. 23. The victory, her seventh in 35 starts, was her first in a graded stakes race and improved her career earnings to $353,232. A gem of consistency, she was in the money in 12 of 14 starts in 2002 and has now won three of five tries at the turf distance. Since being switched to the grass permanently 10 races ago, she has been in the money nine times, winning four. Sidney Turner bred San Dare in Kentucky.
San Dare paid $25.20, $9.40 and $6.80. Calista returned $5.60 and $4.80. Laurica's show price was $8.20. The $2 exacta was $119.80, the $2 trifecta $1,210 and the $2 superfecta $12,630.60.
Earlier on the card Sunday, Follow Me Home and jockey Jorge Chavez won the five-furlong $71,400 Dame Mysterieuse Stakes for 3-year-old fillies to the tune of $30.20 for a $2 win bet. Joseph C. Catanese III trained the winner for owners Robert Braunsdorf and Robert Levine.
Also winning stakes on the opening weekend at Gulfstream were Point Prince ($60.60) in the Appelton (gr. IIT) and Mr. Baileys ($37.70) in the Spectacular Bid (gr. III) Saturday and First Blush ($25.80) in Friday's Spectacular Bid (gr. III).
The average $2 win price for the five stakes races on opening weekend at Gulfstream was $35.90.