Southern Honey bested her older rivals in the $110,000 Winning Colors (G3) on Memorial Day at Churchill Downs to give the Colonel John 3-year-old filly her first stakes win and third straight over the past six weeks.
Colonel John is North America's leading Second Crop sire of winners with 20 and is one of only four sophomore sires with multiple stakes winners.
Ridden by Julien Leparoux and trained by Rusty Arnold, Southern Honey sat a couple lengths off the blistering pace set by Socialbug, who blazed a half-mile in :44.40 seconds. The pace began to take its toll in mid-stretch, and Southern Honey cruised by to win going away by 1 1/2-lengths. She covered the six furlongs over a fast main track in a swift 1:08.67 - the third-fasting clocking in the Winning Colors - and earned a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 97.
"It went great,” said Arnold. “When we drew the nine-hole I was thrilled because I knew how much speed was in here, and it gave us a chance to ease her off the speed if she would do it and she had a perfect trip. It was just what we were looking for."
The victory was worth $66,067 and improved Southern Honey's earnings to $150,017 for owner Glenn Bromagen's Ashbrook Farm. Her career mark now stands at 5-3-1-0. She began her current winning streak with a maiden win Apr. 5 at Keeneland and an allowance victory on the Kentucky Oaks Day undercard.
Southern Honey is out of the Carson City mare Mama Tia and bred in Kentucky by Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm LLC. Bromagen acquired his newest stakes winner out of the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, going to $180,000 to secure her.
Arnold outlined his plans for Southern Honey as well. "My goal is the Test (G1, $500,000 race for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs on Aug. 2 at Saratoga). That's really why I didn't ship her. I was going to have to ship her all the way to New York and then have to come back. But the Victory Ride (G3, $150,000 race for 3-year-old fillies over 6 ½ furlongs on June 29 at Belmont Park) is probably what I'm looking at next."