By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
LEXINGTON, KY— Sitting behind Mission Brief as she blazed around the Lexington oval, Wild Honey made her move in the stretch drive, sliding by Mission Brief to win the $262,500 Kentucky Filly Futurity in 1:50.4 on Saturday, October 10 at The Red Mile.
Mission Brief set the tempo of :27.2, :54.4, and 1:23.2, with Wild Honey drafting behind her the entire time. John Campbell sent Wild Honey to confront Mission Brief after sitting behind her for a brief point of the stretch drive. By the eighth pole, Wild Honey got her nose in front of Mission Brief, who began to stiffen in gait and shy away from the Jimmy Takter-trained filly. From there, Wild Honey extended her lead and won by about two lengths over Mission Brief, with Bright Baby Blues securing third off a first-over grind.
Racing for the connections of Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman, the filly by Cantab Hall out of the S J’s Photo mare U Wanna Lindy paid $11.40 in her upset. This was her sixth win in 13 starts this season, as well as her 16th win in 25 overall starts.
“I was hoping to follow Mission Brief; there was no question about it,” John Campbell said. “I had my spot picked out when she [Mission Brief] came out to try and get on her back. Once she got on her back, you don’t really have to move. In the lane, when I asked this filly, she just dug in and really trotted down through the wire strong.”
“I think anybody [driver-wise] can get along with her,” Campbell also said. “She’s very easy to drive. She’s just a professional out there, and she’s got a great attitude and tremendous gait. I can’t take much credit for that because I believe anybody could drive her.”
“She’s just a tremendous horse,” Jimmy Takter said. “To beat a great horse like Mission Brief like that, that tells you a lot. This filly has been running in the shadow of Mission Brief her whole campaign. She never gives up; this was the race I was hoping she would get, sitting right behind her. I know how game she is and that she never gives up; it takes a heck of a horse to fight her off. She’s just a fantastic animal.”
“I was very happy also because John [Campbell] was driving her and got hurt going into the Hambletonian, and he missed his drive there, so it was sweet for him to come back here and win the Futurity here,” Takter also said.