Evening Jewel, a grade I winner on Polytrack who finished a nose shy to Blind Luck in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) one month ago, makes her turf debut in the $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park May 31.
Seven 3-year-old fillies are entered in the 1 1/8-mile Honeymoon, the third race on Hollywood's Memorial Day program with a probable post of 2:01 p.m. PDT.
Trained by James Cassidy for the Braly Family Trust, California-bred Evening Jewel has twice lost by a nose to Blind Luck in grade I races this year. Those two hard-luck defeats are sandwiched around a front-running neck triumph in Keeneland's Ashland Stakes (gr. I) on Polytrack April 3. In addition to her loss at odds of 13-1 in the prestigious Kentucky Oaks April 30, the game daughter of Northern Afleet and the Giant's Causeway mare Jewel Of The Night was also victimized by Blind Luck in the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Feb. 13.
Evening Jewel has won three of nine with five seconds in her career and has earned a field-best $516,943. Victor Espinoza, who won the Honeymoon with Lovely Rafaela in 2004 and two years later with Attima, has the mount. Evening Jewel will carry high weight of 122 pounds.
Her opponents include the first four finishers of the one-mile Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood turf May 2 -- in order, Cozi Rosie, Andina, City to City and Triple Cream.
Trained by John Sadler for owner/breeder Jerry and Ann Moss, Cozi Rosie, a daughter of Pleasantly Perfect, is trying to become the seventh filly to win both the Senorita and Honeymoon. The last to complete the double was Likeable Style in 1993. Mike Smith, who has been aboard Cozi Rosie in all of her seven races, including three wins, will ride again. They break from the rail.
Cozi Rosie scored a one-length victory in the Senorita, rallying three wide to get the lead in the final furlong and holding off Andina and 11-10 favorite City to City, who were separated by a nose for second.
The good-looking chestnut filly showed marked improvement from a seventh-place effort in her turf debut in Santa Anita's Providencia Stakes (gr. IIT) April 3. That race was won by the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained City to City, a City Zip filly who defeated the late-running Andina by a half-length with Honeymoon rival In the Slips third.
Rosario, who has a return engagement on City to City, will be seeking a record third consecutive victory in the Honeymoon, having won with Misty Ocean in 2008 and Well Monied a year ago. City to City drew post 2.
Joe Talamo sticks with Arnold Zetcher's late-running Andina, who has placed in three consecutive stakes tries without a win for trainer Ben Cecil. They are on the far outside.
Bobby Flay's Triple Cream turned in a strong effort in the Senorita, her stakes debut, to lose by 1 1/4 lengths. Further improvement would be no surprise. Tyler Baze takes over on the gray/roan daughter of Tapit for trainer David Hofmans.
Michael House's In the Slips, who started the year with a win in the one-mile Blue Norther Stakes for trainer Jeff Mullins, gets the services of jockey Rafael Bejarano in the Honeymoon.
Brian Koriner saddles Dreamed to Dream, who began her career with five starts at Gulfstream Park this season and is coming off a third-place showing in the Boynton Beach Stakes on the turf April 17.
$150,000 Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 3, 2:01 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Cozi Rosie (KY), M E Smith, 119, J W Sadler
2. City to City (KY), J Rosario, 118, J Hollendorfer
3. Triple Cream (KY), T Baze, 114, D E Hofmans
4. In the Slips (KY), R Bejarano, 116, R H Ayers
5. Evening Jewel (CA), V Espinoza, 122, J M Cassidy
6. Dreamed to Dream (FL), B Blanc, 114, B J Koriner
7. Andina (IRE), J Talamo, 117, B D Cecil
Blinkers Off: Dreamed to Dream