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OLDSMAR, FL – Green Lantern Stables’ Honorifique looks like she could certainly relish stretching back out to two turns in Saturday’s $150,000 Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
The Suncoast is an 8 1/3-furlong dirt route restricted to 3-year-old fillies. This year’s edition is the ninth event on a 12-race card that includes the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) and has a local post time of PM.
The Suncoast is part of the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks prep race season, with the winner earning 10 points, 4 points to second, 2 to third, and 1 to the fourth-place finisher.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Suncoast:
1. Roll Up Mo Money 12/1 – She wired a field of optional claimers in a 1-mile route on Turfway Park’s synthetic main track, her first time trying that surface and cornering twice as well as her debut for current trainer Kenny McPeek. She also won a 5-furlong Del Mar dirt sprint last August and is one of three entries in this field with a two-turn win on her resume.
2. Feeling Mischief 9/2 – She won her debut, a 5-furlong Colonial Downs dirt sprint, by 8 lengths and took the local 6-furlong Sandpiper Stakes by 2 lengths 2 starts later. She was most recently third behind a pair of dead heat winners (one of whom returns here) in the local 7-furlong Gasparilla Stakes. The Into Mischief filly should handle her first time stretching out.
3. Jade Empress 8/1 – She broke her maiden at fifth asking last time out, defeating fellow Florida-breds in a 7-furlong Gulfstream Park dirt sprint. The runner-up broke her maiden in her subsequent start and trainer Bill Mott has been hot so far this meet (10-2-2-3 record through Thursday), but she also used race-day Lasix (she can’t here) and this is a tougher class test.
4. Curlin’s Catch 6/1 – After beginning her career routing on Woodbine’s synthetic main track, she resurfaced on a new surface with aplomb, wiring maidens in a one-turn Gulfstream Park dirt mile event last month. She’s bred top to bottom for routing and her Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse connects at 20% with jockey Antonio Gallardo, who rides for the first time.
5. Honorifique 7/2 – She stretches back out to two turns after nearly breaking her maiden in a 1 1/16-mile Keeneland dirt route last October; she was third, beaten a 1/2-length. She won next time out in a one-turn Churchill Downs dirt mile and rallied from off the pace to finish second by a 1/2-length in the Cash Run Stakes, a one-turn dirt mile at Gulfstream Park.
6. Scenic Overlook 15/1 – The daughter of 2016 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist is the second of three entries with a two-turn win on her resume, which she accomplished with an 8 3/4-length score over this course and distance on January 15. She loses the race day Lasix she had for the first time that day, but her local routing experience gives her an advantage.
7. Gulf Coast 5/2 – The morning line favorite will scratch in favor of Sunday’s Ruthless Stakes, a 7-furlong dirt sprint at Aqueduct that carries no Kentucky Oaks (G1) points but only attracted 4 other 3-year-old fillies.
“The (Ruthless) is one turn and it’s a shorter field,” Brisset said. “It’s not easier, but shorter. We got a good draw (outside post 5), so we’ll see how she runs over there. This will give us a good indication of what to do next with her.”
8. Be Sneaky 12/1 – She broke her maiden on debut in a 7-furlong Laurel Park dirt sprint last October, then finished third in the 6-furlong Smart Halo Stakes over the same course a month later. The winner that day repeated next time out in a state-bred stakes and this Into Mischief daughter’s trainer Arnaud Delacour has been sneaky this meet (32-10-4-2 through Thursday).
9. Il Malocchio 10/1 – She broke her maiden at third asking in the Victorian Queen Stakes, a 7 1/2-furlong Woodbine inner turf route restricted to Ontario-breds. She finished second in last October’s Princess Elizabeth Stakes, a synthetic route for Ontario-breds, and debuts here for new trainer Kenny McPeek while racing without Lasix for the first time.
10. Special Princess 8/1 – She’s the field’s most experienced runner with 7 starts under her belt, including a last-to-first rally to win the Gasparilla last time out. That 7-furlong test was the longest that she’s attempted in her career and trainer Walter Woodard only connects at 3% in routes, but he does succeed at 22% with a sharp $6.42 ROI when Ademar Santos rides.
“Saturday is a lot tougher race because this starts the push toward the Kentucky Oaks,” Woodard said. “But this is what you have to do in life – keep stepping up. I’m confident she can run with this bunch. She wouldn’t be there if I didn’t think she belonged. I know she beat some nice horses (in the Gasparilla). I think she is definitely going to be able to run longer and Ademar will be able to settle her on the backside, get her motor revved up, and come running. Everybody is going to know she is there, I’m pretty sure.”
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