Nashoba's Gold Takes Next Step in Honeymoon

Nashoba's Gold Takes Next Step in Honeymoon
Photo: Benoit Photo
Nashoba's Gold

Nashoba's Gold has done little wrong in three starts since debuting in February, and the half sister to the superb mare Nashoba's Key will get another chance to hone her brilliance in the $200,000 Honeymoon Stakes (gr. IIT) May 4.

The Honeymoon, rescued from the Hollywood Park stakes schedule by Santa Anita Park, is the only graded stakes in North America on Sunday, the day after the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The 1 1/8-mile turf test for 3-year-old fillies attracted a field of seven and is set for a 2:30 p.m. PDT post time as the fourth race on the card.

Nashoba's Gold is coming off a one-length tally in the Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 5 for trainer Carla Gaines, and she will be right back at the nine-furlong distance in the Honeymoon. The filly who was second in the Providencia, favored Diversy Harbor, is the only one to have beaten Nashoba's Gold, who finished half a length behind her rival in the one-mile China Doll Stakes March 8.

It was only a month earlier that Warren Williamson's Kentucky homebred daughter of Smart Strike   out of the Irish mare Nashoba, by Caerleon, made a successful debut in coming from far back to defeat maidens.

Besides Diversy Harbor, Nashoba's Gold will line up against two others that ran in the Providencia, One More and Margot Machance, who were third and fourth, respectively. Two others come out of the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I)Honey Ride (fourth) and Arethusa (fifth)and are making their grass debuts.

Nashoba's Gold has a ways to go to emulate her sister but she's made a good start of it. Nashoba's Key, who was also trained by Gaines for Williamson, won seven straight to begin her career in 2007, including a pair of grade I races and five stakes wins overall. The following season she captured the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) before it all ended tragically in a freak stall mishap in which the brilliant mare fractured her left hock and had to be euthanized.

In the Providencia, Nashoba's Gold stalked a slow pace before kicking it in four wide out of the far turn. She overtook One More near mid-stretch and held forth over the late-running Diversy Harbor while drifting in late.

Joe Talamo, who rode her sister, has been aboard Nashoba's Gold in all three of her starts, and will guide her from the rail this time.

Glen Hill Farm's Diversy Harbor had some trouble in the Providencia, bumping at the start and waiting briefly for room while making her charge in the homestretch. Gary Stevens will hope for a cleaner trip this time aboard the daughter of Curlin   from gate 5.

Reddam Racing's One More, an allowance winner prior to the Providencia, was beaten by 3 1/2 lengths in the Providencia. Doug O'Neill keeps Mario Gutierrez aboard from post 3.

Trainer Leonard Powell tabs Corey Nakatani for his British-bred filly, Margot Manchance, who was compromised by the slow pace in the Providencia.

Honey Ride, a Candy Ride   homebred trained by John Sadler for Jerry and Ann Moss , chased Fashion Plate from second in the April 5 Santa Anita Oaks before weakening in the stretch.

Godolphin's Arethusa was no threat in the Oaks while trailing much of the way. The A.P. Indy filly ran third in the Las Virgenes (gr. I) before that.

Maiden winner Sweet Bliss, third behind One More in the March 13 allowance race, completes the field.

$200,000 Honeymoon Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 4, 2:30 p.m), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Nashoba's Gold (KY), J Talamo, C Gaines
2. Sweet Bliss (KY), A T Gryder, J A Shirreffs
3. One More (KY), M Gutierrez, D F O'Neill
4. Honey Ride (KY), T Baze, J W Sadler
5. Diversy Harbor (KY), G L Stevens, T F Proctor
6. Margot Machance (GB), C S Nakatani, L Powell
7. Arethusa (KY), R Bejarano, E G Harty
All assigned 117 pounds.

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