Cairo Memories Stalks Pace to Score in GIII Honeymoon Stakes

May 30, 2022

ARCADIA, Calif.—An impressive winner at the distance in her last start, the Bob Hess, Jr.-trained Cairo Memories stalked early leader Sterling Crest, made a narrow lead turning for home and repelled a stiff challenge to her outside from recent stakes winner Island of Love to register an impressive 1 ¼ length win in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Honeymoon Stakes at Santa Anita.  Ridden by Mike Smith, Cairo Memories, a 3-year-old filly by Cairo Prince, got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:48.67.

A 4 ½ length winner of the Grade III Providencia Stakes in gate to wire fashion here on April 9, Cairo Memories adapted well to today’s pace scenario as Irish-bred Sterling Crest, with Ramon Vazquez up, was intent on making the lead into the first turn.

“Last time, she had it all her own way, today she had to be tactical, got challenged and kicked home nicely,” said Hess.  “It was a little tougher than we had hoped, but she ran well and I think she’ll run a little farther.  We’re looking at a few things, there’s the Belmont Oaks (Grade I, 1 ¼ miles on turf) on my birthday (July 9) and if all goes well, we’d like to come back to Del Mar and run in the Oaks down there (Grade I, 1 1/8 turf, Aug. 20).”

The 1-2 favorite in a field of six sophomore fillies, Cairo Memories paid $3.00, $2.10 and $2.10.

“As soon as competition comes to her, she just jumps right back in the bridle, which she did,” said Smith, who has ridden Cairo Memories in her last three starts.  “It gave me the confidence to know that she was going to run down to the wire.  She’s getting smarter about leaving the gate.  She used to have trouble leaving there early in her career, but she is getting better at it and hopefully, she continues to.”

Owned by Schroeder Farms, LLC and David Bernsen, Cairo Memories, who is out of the Indian Charlie mare Incarnate Memories, has now won three stakes over the Santa Anita lawn from as many tries.  With four wins from seven overall starts, she picked up $60,000 for the Honeymoon win, increasing her earnings to $352,500.

A winner of the Grade III Senorita Stakes at one mile on turf May 7, Irish-bred Island of Love was trying a mile and one eighth for the first time today in her fourth stateside start for Phil D’Amato.  Third in the run to the far turn, she loomed ominously leaving the quarter pole as she headed the winner but could not go with her late in a determined effort.

Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Island of Love was the second choice at 7-2 and paid $3.00 and $2.20 while finishing 1 ½ lengths in front of Ballet Dancing.

Off at 5-1 with Drayden Van Dyke, Ballet Dancing proved third-best, finishing 4 ¼ lengths in front of Sterling Crest while paying $2.60 to show.

Fractions on the race were 23.30, 47.29, 1:11.37 and 1:36.46.

First post time for a 10-race card on Memorial Day, Monday is at 1 p.m.  Three Grade I stakes, the Hollywood Gold Cup, the Shoemaker Mile and the Gamely will highlight the holiday card.

GRADE III, $100,000, HONEYMOON STAKES QUOTES 

JOCKEY QUOTES

MIKE SMITH, CAIRO MEMORIES, WINNER: “If you have been blessed with the opportunity to get on her you would feel that she’s always there when you need her. As soon as competition comes to her, she just jumps right back in the bridle, which she did. It gave me the confidence to know that she was going to run down to the wire.

“She’s getting smarter about leaving the gate. She used to have trouble leaving there early in her career, but she is getting better at it and hopefully she continues to.”

TRAINER QUOTES

ROBERT B. HESS, JR., CAIRO MEMORIES, WINNER: “Last time, she had it all her own way, today she had to be tactical, got challenged and kicked home nicely. It was a little tougher than we had hoped, but she ran well and I think she’ll run a little farther. We’re looking at a few things, there’s the Belmont Oaks (Grade I, 1 ¼ miles on turf) on my birthday (July 9) and if all goes well, we’d like to come back to Del Mar and run in the Oaks down there (Grade I, 1 1/8 turf, Aug. 20).

NOTES: The winning owners are David A. Bernsen, LLC and Schroeder Farms LLC.  

Santa Anita Park Press Release

Photo: Benoit Photo

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