Hot Springs, Ark. (Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015) â€“ The speedy Sugar Shock is scheduled to make her first start against older horses in the $100,000 American Beauty Stakes for female sprinters Saturday afternoon at Oaklawn. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Candy Ride, Sugar Shock was Oaklawnâ€™s top 3-year-old filly last year, winning 3 of 4 starts, including the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) in April at 1 1/16 miles.
The six-furlong American Beauty will mark Sugar Shockâ€™s first sprint start in almost a year. â€œItâ€™s just kind of a starting point to see where weâ€™re at with her,â€ said Doug Anderson, Sugar Shockâ€™s trainer and co-owner. â€œWeâ€™ll see if we go back to routing or stay sprinting.â€
Sugar Shock is the 3-1 program favorite for the American Beauty, which drew a bulky field of 13. If the field remains intact, it will equal the largest in the raceâ€™s 31-year history. â€œThatâ€™s a big number for a stake around here or anywhere,â€ Anderson said. â€œWeâ€™re happy with where weâ€™re at with her and looking forward to the year.â€
Regular rider Channing Hill will pilot Sugar Shock, who is scheduled to break from post 8 and carry 114 pounds under allowance conditions for money won. She hasnâ€™t started since failing to finish as the 5-2 third choice in the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) June 28 at Prairie Meadows.
Anderson said Sugar Shock didnâ€™t handle the mud in the Iowa Oaks and Hill decided to pull her up at the top of the stretch. The trainer said the filly was subsequently turned out at Rose Hill Farm in Lexington, Ky. - where she was broken - before rejoining his stable in late September.
The trainer decided to launch Sugar Shockâ€™s 2015 campaign in the American Beauty, rather than last Saturdayâ€™s $100,000 Pippin Stakes at Oaklawn or Saturdayâ€™s $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic at Sam Houston Race Park. The Pippin and Houston Ladies Classic are both 1 1/16-mile races. Sugar Shock won two six-furlong races last year in Hot Springs before stretching out to win the Fantasy.
â€œWe missed a couple of works that I thought were important to get, so we just kind of went to Plan C,â€ Anderson said.
Anderson said heâ€™s happy with the post position.
â€œI like where weâ€™re at, kind of in the middle,â€ Anderson said. â€œWe donâ€™t have to be right on the lead, but it looks like sheâ€™ll part of the hot pace, I imagine.â€
The full field for the $100,000 American Beauty, which goes as the 8th of 9 live races at approximately 4:38 p.m. (Central), in post position order with riders and morning line odds: Haveyougoneaway, Jareth Loveberry, 20-1; Winâ€™em All, Israel Ocampo, Scott Becker, 15-1; Flower Spell, Julio Felix, 8-1; Chortle, Eddie Perez, 12-1; Brazen Persuasion, Ramon Vazquez, 9-2; Springsteen Road, Emmanuel Esquivel, 20-1; Table Three Ten, Shaun Bridgmohan, 8-1; Sugar Shock, Channing Hill, 3-1; Scarletridgerunner, Malcolm Franklin, 5-1; Belle Natalie, Ricardo Santana Jr., 15-1; St. Louis City, Israel Ocampo, 15-1; Spring Included. Joe Rocco Jr., 15-1, and Fast N Fine Lookin, 6-1.