Honey Fox Handicap Oversubscribed; Guaranteed Pick 6 Offered

From Gulfstream Park
Gulfstream Park's first Friday program of the 2002 season will be highlighted by two features -- the $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares, and an enticing new target for bettors in the Guaranteed Pick 6.

Every Friday throughout the 90-day meeting, the Pick 6 will carry a guaranteed gross pool of $25,000. In addition, the takeout on the Pick 6 wager has been lowered to 20 percent, a 5 percent reduction. The 20 percent takeout rate will prevail on the Pick 6 every day of the meeting that ends April 24.

Should the Friday Pick 6 not be won, the entire net pool (minus the mandatory 25 percent payout to those selecting the most winners in the six-race Pick 6) will be carried over to Saturday. The Pick 6 each day will consist of the last six races on the program.

An overflow field of 18 fillies and mares was entered for the Honey Fox Handicap at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. If the race goes on grass, only 12 will be allowed to start.

The starting highweight in the field is John Newsome's Veil of Avalon, who carries 118 pounds from Post 12 with Edgar Prado in the irons. The 5-year-old mare is one of two Christophe Clement-trained runners in the field. Clement will also saddle Brendon Hayes's Zeiting, who drew Post 4 with Jose Santos aboard at 114. The horses run as separate betting interests.

Veil of Avalon earned her highweight assignment with a clear victory in the Solo Haina Handicap at Calder last out in November, her third score of the year. Zeiting, who ran fifth in last year's running of the Honey Fox, won the Omnibus Stakes at Monmouth in the summer.

Trainer Michael Matz will saddle a dangerous foe in Helen Groves's Batique, who carries 117 after winning the My Charmer Handicap (gr. III) at Calder her last start. Jorge Chavez rides the 6-year-old mare, winner of the Grade 3 Vinery Matchmaker at Monmouth in June.

Sara's Success scored five times last season for owner Thorobeam Farm and trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. She gets in the Honey Fox at 115 pounds with Cornelio Velasquez aboard. Last out the Florida-bred was second, beaten a neck, in the Frances A. Genter Stakes at Calder. Plesa also saddles J.S. Carrion's Wander Mom, third behind Batique in the My Charmer. The filly totes 114 from Post 2 with Eduardo Nunez aboard.

Alybgood drew the rail, which will suit her free-wheeling style. Mary-Jo Lohmeier trains the mare for the Joseph Lacombe Stable. Alybgood, who carries 112 with Lonnie Meche up, won twice on the Gulfstream turf last winter.

Randy Schulhofer saddles R.S. Evans's Windsong on Friday. The 5-year-old mare, who ran eighth in the 2001 edition of the Honey Fox, goes from Post 10 with Chris DeCarlo up at 14 pounds.

The others drawn into the body of the race are Stella Thayer's All Spades, who won her last at the Meadowlands for trainer Robert Connors, 113, Rene Douglas; E. Somers's Silver Bandana, who raced well on the Gulfstream grass last year for trainer Joe Waunsch, 113, also Cornelio Velasquez named; Team Valor and Heligbrodt Racing Stable's My Sweet Westly, 112, Mark Guidry; and the Mark Hennig-trained entry of E. P. Evans's Unrestrained, 113, Eibar Coa, and Tap Dance, 113, John Velazquez.

The also-eligibles are Kelly Bag, 111, also Douglas; Tuff Chick, 111, Pat Day; Guillotine, 111, also Guidry; Tina Dynamite, 111, also Chavez; Jennasietta, 111, Manuel Aguilar, and Multiplicity, 110, Jocy Gomez.