INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 29, 2009) — Irish-bred Pride Dancer, a much-improved third in her second North American start, will by vying with eight other sophomore fillies in an attempt to earn a berth in the July 5 American Oaks with a solid showing in Sunday’s $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap at Hollywood Park.
The Honeymoon, a Grade II race at nine furlongs on the Lakeside Turf Course, is the last major prep for the $700,000 Oaks, a Grade I invitational event at 1 ¼ miles which annually attracts a classy international lineup. Megahertz (2002) and Ticker Tape (2004) have emerged from the Honeymoon to win the Oaks since its inception in 2002.
Pride Dancer, a winner of two of six starts as a 2-year-old in France, finished 11th while making her North American debut in the Providencia at Santa Anita on April 4. She rebounded with a solid third in the one-mile Senorita here May 3, finishing three lengths back of Mrs Kipling.
While Mrs Kipling will bypass the wide-open Honeymoon, six of Sunday’s nine starters enter after running in the Senorita —Candilejas (second-place finisher), Pride Dancer (third), Acting Lady (fourth), Century Park (fifth), Lexlenos (sixth) and Dash Dot Dash (seventh).
Well Monied steps up to stakes company after a pair of wins on turf; Maid For Music won the Golden Poppy at 1 1/16 miles on turf last outing at Golden Gate Fields, and Daylumney, also an Irish-bred, makes her second North American start after finishing fourth in an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles here May 17.
The field lines up as follows from the rail out:
Century Park, with Victor Espinoza up, carries 116 pounds; Daylumney, Tyler Baze, 113; Candilejas, Martin Garcia, 115; Lexlenos, Alex Solis, 114; Dash Dot Dash, Brice Blanc, 114; Maid For Music, David Flores, 116; Pride Dancer, 115; Acting Lady, Rafael Bejarano, 118, and Well Monied, Joel Rosario, 115.
The Honeymoon will run as the seventh race on Sunday’s nine-race program. First post time is at 1 p.m.
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