Spook Express Rallies for Honey Fox Win

Spook Express Rallies for Honey Fox Win
Photo: Associated Press/ Bill Denver
Spook Express, with Mike Smith riding, wins the Honey Fox Handicap over Please Sign In (behind Spook Express) Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
South African champion Spook Express closed from 11th-place in the 12-horse field to win Sunday's $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT), catching pacesetter Please Sign In near the wire of the one-mile turf race. Under jockey Mike Smith, the Thomas Skiffington-trained mare completed the Gulfstream Park feature in 1:35.60 on a firm course.

Lady Dora closed well to finish third, a head behind Please Sign In. It was a nose back to fourth-place Miss Tobacco, and another neck to Zeiting. Capital Request, Libertaire, Windsong, Tippity Witch, Lady Brook, Silver Rail, and Laurica completed the order of finish.

Spook Express was South Africa's champion 3-year-old filly of 1998. As a 3-year-old, Spook Express won eight of nine races in South Africa, finishing second in her lone defeat. In five prior American starts, she won a Saratoga allowance race and the listed Columbiana Handicap. The Honey Fox (formerly Joe Namath) win marks her first in a graded stakes in North America. She earned $60,000 for Kinloch Enterprises with the win, her 11th in 15 career starts. Spook Express (Comic Blush--Park Walk, by Green Dancer) was bred in South Africa by Jack Syndicate.

Spook Express was sent off at odds of just over 9-1 and returned $20.40, $9.40, and $8.80. Please Sign In (16-1) paid $19.80 and $10.80 and completed the $287.80 exacta. Lady Dora was worth $5.60 to show. (Chart, Equibase)

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