HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Godolphin homebred Micheline, beaten less than a length in the Sweetest Chant (G3) two starts back, got an ideal trip in her return to Gulfstream Park to spring a 17-1 upset in the $75,000 Honey Ryder over troubled favorite Highland Glory.
Ridden by Joe Bravo for trainer Mike Stidham, Micheline ($37.40) covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.10 over a firm turf course for her third career victory and second in a stakes, following the 2019 Sorority in her second career start.
“I talked to Bravo yesterday, we talked about the race, and I just said she just needs to get a better trip than she got last time with some speed to run at,” Stidham said. “He gave her a perfect inside trip, got her out turning for home and she made her kick that we know she’s got. It was sweet.”
Bravo settled Micheline along the rail in eighth as Envoutante took the field of 12 sophomore fillies through an opening quarter-mile in 24.62 seconds and a half in 49.01. Micheline moved herself into a contending position in fourth after Envoutante went six furlongs in 1:12.27 before Bravo tipped the Bernardini filly to the outside approaching the stretch. Micheline cut the corner straightening for home and was set down for a drive to the wire to turn back top choice Highland Glory by 2 ¼ lengths.
Highland Glory, sent off at 6-5 off her neck victory in the Sanibel Island March 28 at Gulfstream, encountered early traffic trouble and found herself near the back of the field before jockey Luis Saez was able to maneuver a trip to get up for second. Stunning Sky finished third, with Envoutante fading to fourth.
“Turf races, it’s all trip. We were able to sit in a good position and I didn’t even have to move on her until turning for home,” Bravo said. “Mr. Stidham did a great job bringing this filly around. She really stepped up to the plate today.”
Micheline was similarly overlooked at 13-1 when she rallied from last to get within three-quarters of a length of multiple graded-stakes winner Cheermeister in the one-mile Sweetest Chant. She ran seventh following a wide trip in the 1 1/16-mile Florida Oaks (G3) March 7 at Tampa Bay Downs in her previous start.
Gulfstream Park Press Release
Photo: Micheline sweeps down the stretch for the win in the Honey Ryder S. Credit: Coglianese Photo/Lauren King