Moyglare Stud Farm’s Celestine, favored at 1-5 odds,seized command in the first quarter mile, then controlled the pace and was never threatened while romping to her second consecutive Grade 2 Honey Fox Stakes on the Florida Derby undercard at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
Trained by Christophe Clement and ridden by Jose Ortiz, the 5-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy covered a mile on firm turf in 1:35.19, leaving Mississippi Delta, Linda and Josdesanimaux in her wake in second, third and fourth in the field of six filly and mare turf specialists.
Mississippi Delta jumped to a short-lived early lead, but jockey Jose Lezcano allowed Celestine to take command into the first turn, lulling the field to sleep through pedestrian fractions of :24.45, :49.01 and 1:12.85 for the first six furlongs. Mississippi Delta tried to make a race of it at the furlong pole, the seven furlongs in 1:23.93, but Ortiz had plenty of horse left for the final furlong.
The win was the eighth in 16 career starts for Celestine, who shipped north after last year’s Honey Fox to win the G1 Just A Game at Belmont Park in June when she was trained by Bill Mott and owned by Phaedrus Flights.
Twelfth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint down the hill at Santa Anita Park, Celestine was sold to Moyglare Stud and transferred to Clement. She got a brief freshening and came back to win her 2017 debut in the Sand Springs Stakes at Gulfstream Park March 4.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2017 Paulick Report.