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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Race of the Day

- Check out the seventh from Santa Anita at Cal Racing. Three-year old fillies going nine furlongs on the grass in an entry level allowance; I love these races. Honnete (Elusive Quality) won her debut for Neil Drysdale at 9-1 last month; on Wednesday, she was pounded to 6-5 on the basis of her improbable winning rally after looking hopelessly beaten with 100 yards to go.

As in her debut, Honnete lagged behind, this time last in the field of seven. Brice Blanc was in no rush even as a fast early pace dissipated into a moderate one. Trevor Denman seemed to warily note her slowly creeping closer, though still trailing the field. But when they turned for home, she was still last, and Denman noted that "she has to pick it up from here." She advanced towards the inside, drifted out for room, and just like last time, you could see her gearing up before she started to fly, as if shot out of a slingshot.

Unfortunately, this time, her momentum was stopped as Seven Steps drifted out in front of her. But after stopping to go around the trouble, she surged again, and just missed in a thrilling finish to 8-1 Le Cirque, who had won her only turf try herself. Watching the pan shot, I at first thought that Seven Steps had caused the trouble for Honnete. But if you watch the head-on at Cal Racing, you see why it was Le Cirque who was DQ'd and placed third. The daughter of Dynaformer drifted out, bumping Seven Steps and forcing her wide, causing her in turn to veer out and bother Honnete. So the chalk players got bailed out this time.

This filly really motors once she gets going, and would have won for fun with a clear path. The last eighth was run in 12.27, and she gained ground while having to shift paths. She looks like an exciting grass prospect, and she has some cool breeding too. She's inbred 5x3 to Graustark; 5x4 to Bold Ruler through his sons Secretariat and Chieftain.

Honette's sire, Elusive Quality, has the great turf mare and broodmare, and one of my favorite horses of all time, Glowing Tribute on his dam side. The mating of Honette's dam, Teaksberry, with Elusive Quality seems to have been carefully planned. Teaksberry's sire, High Honors, is bred along extremely similar lines to Glowing Tribute; they're both by Graustark, out of Hail to Reason mares. Honette has a moderate Tomlinson number of 260, and who am I to argue with that guy? But it's obvious that she loves the turf, and she sure has a lot of grass influence in just the names I've mentioned above, so this is one I'll be keeping an eye on.

1 Comment:

Brett said...

I took home a nice $10 WP ticket on Honette and after she had originally lost I was not happy. And I thought there was no way she could be placed first on the inquiry. But after watching the head on I thought there was a definite chance. Good race.