Another year, another chance for a Diamond D Ranch graduate to win a stakes race for 3-year-old fillies at Oaklawn.
Stephen Fidel’s Cosmic Evolution, who received her early training at the east Texas facility, is scheduled to make her two-turn debut in Saturday’s $200,000 Honeybee (G3), a 1 1/16-mile race that is the final major local prep for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 9.
Rachel Alexandra won the 2009 Fantasy, then worth $250,000, en route to Horse of the Year honors. Another Diamond D graduate, Texas-bred Promise Me Silver, won Oaklawn’s $100,000 Dixie Belle and $100,000 Instant Racing last year.
Cosmic Evolution, who broke her maiden in the $100,000 Debutante Stakes June 27 at Churchill Downs, has been targeting the Honeybee since late last year. Trainer Lon Wiggins used a Feb. 6 entry-level allowance sprint at Oaklawn, which Cosmic Evolution won by 1 1/4 lengths, as the filly’s bridge to the Honeybee. The trainer said “every indication” is Cosmic Evolution, a chestnut daughter of 2002 Kentucky Derby runner-up Proud Citizen, can carry her speed two turns, noting favorable early reports from Diamond D head trainer Scooter Dodwell.
“Even when Scooter watched her short breezes, she always galloped out much better than a normal horse,” Wiggins said. “We’ve been kind of looking forward to running her two turns since the spring, this time last year.”
Cosmic Evolution won 1 of 3 starts in 2015, a campaign cut short because of a minor leg problem, Wiggins said.
Cosmic Evolution drew the rail for the Honeybee and will be ridden by her regular jockey, Hall of Famer Calvin Borel. Borel was also the regular rider of Rachel Alexandra, who made her first 10 starts for Wiggins’ father, trainer Hal Wiggins, who is now a steward at Fair Grounds.
“He’s pulling for us,” Lon Wiggins said. “He’s very happy and excited for us.”
Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, a two-time winner of Oaklawn’s $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), are 2016 finalists for induction into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
(from Oaklawn news release)