Eye on the Oaks: Euphrosyne


Eurphrosyne (outside) finished second but was promoted to first in the Honeybee Stakes (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire).

A bay filly by the late Harlan’s Holiday, Euphrosyne has revealed signs of promise as a Kentucky Oaks contender.

Euphrosyne has never finished worse than second in her six career starts, but she has only two wins on her résumé.  In her most recent start, the Honeybee Stakes, she crossed the finish line second but was placed first via disqualification.

Though she did not win in three races as a juvenile, Euphrosyne’s pedigree showed potential for a successful 2-year-old campaign. She is the result of breeding Harlan’s Holiday to the Doneraile Court mare Three Graces. Harlan’s Holiday, by Harlan, was a grandson of Storm Cat (a grandson of Northern Dancer) and is out of a mare by 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. Three Graces was a compatible mare: she is by a son of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew and her first and second dams both were by grandsons of Northern Dancer.

The Steve Asmussen-trainee began her career in mid-September of 2013 and she would finish second in all of her starts as a 2-year-old.  She was beaten by 3 ¼ lengths, 2 ¼ lengths and three-quarters of a length at Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, and Fair Grounds, respectively.

Euphrosyne won her 3-year-old debut in early January. This one-mile, 70-yard race on dirt originally was scheduled for one mile on the turf at Fair Grounds. In the field of eight, Euphrosyne was heavily favored in the betting and led throughout the early stages of the race. She drew well clear in the stretch to her first victory and scored with a 6 ¾-length margin in 1:44.49.

Nearly a month later, the Harlan’s Holiday filly was shipped to Arkansas for the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Euphrosyne got another front-running trip but tired a furlong from the finish line and lost by 1 ½ lengths to Aragorn Ami, who won with a time of 1:41.20 for one mile on the dirt main track.

Despite the loss, Euphrosyne stepped up to the Grade 3 level in the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn on March 8. In the Honeybee, she began fastest from the starting gate but raced in third to complete the first quarter-mile and fourth through the first half-mile in :47.06. 

Late on the final turn, Euphrosyne was roused for a closing kick and responded well. She began closing the gap on the leaders and came up to challenge the leading Sugar Shock at the eighth pole. However, Sugar Shock suddenly drifted away from the rail and impeded Euphrosyne’s bid. Euphrosyne was able to recover, but could not get past Sugar Shock. Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard Euphrosyne lodged a claimed of foul against Sugar Shock, who subsequently was disqualified and placed second for interference.

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