Secret Oath overpowers her rivals in the G3 Honeybee

February 26, 2022

Wayne Lukas still has it at 85

HOT SPRINGS, AR – Briland Farm’s Secret Oath secured a spot in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) starting gate with an impressive 7 ½ length victory in Saturday’s $300,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3). With her third straight victory for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Secret Oath earned 50 points towards eligibility in the May 6 Oaks, which is limited to 14 starters.

The heavy favorite broke last of six and raced three wide early as Optionality set fractions of :23 and :47 for the first half mile, while being pressed hard by Yuugiri. Secret Oath moved into a stalking position down backstretch and after encountering traffic around the final turn, found a seam along the rail and quickly took control of the race. She drew well clear of runner-up Ice Orchid, who received 20 Kentucky Oaks points, to complete the 1 1/16 mile race in 1:44 3/5 over a fast track.“I loved that acceleration,” Lukas said. “When she decides to leave them, she leaves them. Wow!”“I got a great break and good position,” jockey Luis Contreras added. “I just sat right behind and at (the three-eighths pole), she tried to pull me again. I just waited and waited. My thinking was to go outside, but I had another horse right there, so I stayed a little longer. When I saw the rail open and asked her to go, she made a tremendous move.”Yuugiri held on for third and was followed by Free Like a Girl, Red Queen and Optionality. Yuugiri and Free Like a Girl earned 10 points and five points, respectively. Secret Oath, by Arrogate out of multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Absinthe Minded, improved her career record to four wins from six starts and has now earned $465,167. She paid $2.60, $2.20, $2.10.

Secret Oath overpowers the G3 Honeybee Field after early trouble (Coady Photography)

Stakes Quotes

Winning Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Secret Oath: “I loved that acceleration,” Lukas said. “When she decides to leave them, she leaves them. Wow!“It was just another day at the office for her. She just comes waltzing home. I just made the comment: ‘If she’d run over to the hotel, she’d still be widening.’ She doesn’t have any distance limitations at all. We’re going to feed her and take care of her and pack her in Styrofoam (tomorrow morning). I nominated both places. She’s nominated here (Arkansas Derby) and the Kentucky Derby. You know what’s really good here? The thing that I’m most happy about is that (Oaklawn) has changed from (three) weeks in front of the Kentucky Derby to five. Boy, if you’re training a good filly, that’s another little caveat that I like. I like it if I have a colt. I like that five-week break. But if you have a filly, you’d have to say, ‘Wow!’ You’re going to get a little extra time.”

Winning Jockey Luis Contreras, Secret Oath: “I got a great break and good position. I just sat right behind and at (the three-eighths pole), she tried to pull me again. I just waited and waited. My thinking was to go outside, but I had another horse right there, so I stayed a little longer. When I saw the rail open and asked her to go and she made a tremendous move.” 

Trainer Johnny Ortiz, second with Ice Orchid: “We got exactly what we were hoping for. We were pushing for third, but getting that second is like a win for us. We’re coming back on a short turnaround. We could have used another work, maybe, and hopefully next time we’ll be 200 percent ready for the Fantasy.” 

Trainer Rudolphe Brisset, third with Yuugiri: “She ran a really good effort for her first start off of a layoff. I think she’ll get a lot out of this race today and will move forward from here.

Oaklawn Park Press Office

Photo:Secret Oath dominates the G3 Honeybee Stakes /Coady Photography

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