September 25, 2020

Point of Honor stays unbeaten in Suncoast; Inspector Lynley wins Tampa Bay for a second time

Point of Honor and jockey Javier Castellano capture the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on February 9, 2019 (c) SV Photography

A wide trip proved no hindrance to Point of Honor, who entered the Kentucky Oaks (G1) race Saturday with a stylish 2 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Suncoast at Tampa Bay Downs.

The 5-2 favorite in a field of eight, Point of Honor wore down Lady Kate in upper stretch and drew away impressively under Javier Castellano. Finishing third was Sweet Diane, and fourth was Winning Envelope. The final time for one mile and 40 yards on a fast track was 1:39.78.

Paying $7 to win, Point of Honor is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Stetson Racing, and is trained by George Weaver.

Point of Honor earned 10 qualifying points as the Suncoast was part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series. Lady Kate earned four points, Sweet Diane two points, and Winning Envelope one point.

Bred in Kentucky by Siena Farms, Point of Honor won on debut by six lengths at Gulfstream Park in an off-the-turf maiden going 1 1/16 miles. She’s now earned $84,000.

By Curlin, Point of Honor is out of the Bernardini mare Zayanna and is a half-sister to stakes winner Velvet Mood. Zayanna is herself a half-sister to Grade 3 winners Mr Freeze and Dilemma. Point of Honor descends from multiple Grade 1 winner Sabin.

Inspector Lynley and jockey Jose Ortiz capture the Tampa Bay Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on February 9, 2019 (c) SV Photography

Inspector Lynley saved ground to the stretch and then squeezed through an opening at the rail inside pacesetter Heart to Heart in the final furlong to win the $150,000 Tampa Bay (G3) for a second time.

Under Jose Ortiz, Inspector Lynley won by a half-length in a time of 1:40.35 for 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf. The 3-1 chance paid $8.80.

“Today we drew perfect and had a great target in Heart to Heart to follow and that was my goal, to be right behind him, and that’s what we did,” Ortiz said. “I know Heart to Heart tends to lean out a little bit, he has a tendency to run with his head in the air, so I sat there confidently. I tried to split horses but at the same time I tried to split them, (Heart to Heart) came out a touch and it opened up for me. I knew then I was going to get through.”

It was a blanket finish for second as Divisidero edged 2-1 favorite Qurbaan for second by a nose, with Heart to Heart a neck behind in fourth.

A homebred campaigned by Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable, the Shug McGaughey trainee won the Tampa Bay in 2017 for his second graded stakes win following the 2016 Saranac (G3). He recorded his last stakes win in the restricted $100,000 Lure at Saratoga last summer. Also four-times placed in graded company, his mark now stands at 22-5-5-4, $632,299.

By Lemon Drop Kid, the Kentucky-bred Inspector Lynley was produced by the multiple Grade 3-winning Criminologist, by Maria’s Mon.

Hawksmoor takes the Endeavour Stakes (G3) under jockey Javier Castellano at Tampa Bay Downs on February 9, 2019 (c) SV Photography

With the scratch of morning-line favorite Rymska, Hawksmoor inherited favoritism in the $150,000 Endeavour (G3) and did not disappoint with a half-length score over 10-1 chance Viva Vegas.

Also ridden by Castellano, Hawksmoor paid $4.80 after completing 1 1/16 miles on the turf in 1:40.83 for owner Lael Stables and trainer Arnaud Delacour.

This was the first stakes tally by the six-year-old daughter of Azamour since taking the Beaugay (G3) and New York (G2) in back-to-back starts in the spring of 2017. The Irish-bred also captured the German 1000 Guineas (G2) in 2016 and the Prestige (G3) in England as a two-year-old.

Four times Grade/Group 1-placed, Hawksmoor has now earned $1,117,739 from a mark of 23-6-5-5.