Eye on the Oaks: Sugar Shock


Sugar Shock was first under the wire in the Honeybee Stakes but was disqualified to second for interferring with Euphrosyne (Photos by Eclipse Sportswire).

Sugar Shock verified herself as a legitimate Kentucky Oaks contender with her performance in the Honeybee Stakes on March 8. In this 1 1/16-mile race, Sugar Shock crossed the finish line first but was disqualified and placed second for interfering with Euphrosyne, who was elevated from second to first. 

Ridden by Channing Hill in all of her races, this Candy Ride filly has an impressive record this year, winning her two other starts in 2014 by a combined margin of five lengths. However, Sugar Shock’s success has been a gradual climb over her five-start career. 

In her first outing in late October of last year, she finished fifth of 2-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs. 

One month later, she returned to Churchill Downs for another six-furlong event and finished. In this race, she established a quick pace with fractions of :21.61 for the opening quarter-mile but tired late in the race to be beaten by a total of 3 ¾ lengths.

The Doug Anderson trainee made her 2014 debut in late January at Oaklawn Park. In this six-furlong test, she raced in second early, close to Say a Hail Mary’s fluid pace of :22.13 for the opening quarter-mile and :46.33 for the half-mile. Around the turn, Sugar Shock dueled for the lead and edged away to a clear victory. Her winning margin was 1 ¼ lengths and she completed the race in 1:10.92.

Sugar Shock secured her second consecutive victory nearly a month later in an allowance race at Oaklawn. In the six-furlong race, she settled in third behind Zip On through a half-mile in :45.76 and traveled four wide into the stretch. Sugar Shock made her bid with a furlong remaining and kicked on to take a comfortable lead. She won by 3 ¾ lengths in a final time of 1:11.12.

On March 8, Sugar Shock stepped up to Grade 3 company in the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park for owner On Cloud Nine LLC. She raced in second through the first three-quarters of a mile and had the lead turning for home. Euphrosyne came up to challenge, but Sugar Shock lugged out into her path before holding on to win by a neck. Although Sugar Shock was the unofficial winner with a time of 1:45.68, she was disqualified to second for impeding Euphrosyne’s bid.

Unbridled lineage seems to be the most dominant force in the 3-year-old filly division this year and Sugar Shock is a good example of this trend. Her sire, Candy Ride, is a product of the Fappiano sire line and Sugar Shock’s second dam (maternal grandmother), Unbridled Hope, is by Unbridled, who is a son of Fappiano.  


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