Honey Ryder Defends Orchid Handicap Title

Glencrest Farm's 5-year-old mare Honey Ryder won the $150,000 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park last year and defends her title in Saturday's renewal of the 12-furlong turf test.

The filly and mare companion event to the Pan American drew a field of eight. The Orchid is one of six stakes – including three graded events – on the Florida Derby (gr. I) undercard.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, the daughter of Lasting Approval won five of seven starts last year, completing the season with three straight stakes victories, including the E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I) at Woodbine in October. In one start this year, Honey Ryder finished a good third behind Wend in the 1 1/16-mile Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Gulfstream sod March 4. John Velazquez rides.

The first three finishers in 1 7/16-mile The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) over the course on March 4 are among Honey Ryder's rivals Saturday. They are: Alfred Corrado's Dynamite Lass (Rafael Bejarano), Faisal Salman's Olaya (Edgar Prado), and Gary Tanaka's Noble Stella (Eddie Castro).

$150,000 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 3:35 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Olaya (KY), 118, Edgar Prado
2. Noble Stella (GER), 116, Eddie Castro
3. Honey Ryder (KY), 120, John Velazquez
4. Asti (IRE), 114, Cornelio Velasquez
5. Dynamite Lass (KY), 116, Rafael Bejarano
6. Pretty Jane (KY), 113, Manoel Cruz
7. Potra Clasica (ARG), 115, Rene Douglas
8. Kate Winslet (NY), 116, Javier Castellano