November 30, 2021

Cosmic Burst flies to Honeybee victory

Cosmic Burst pulls away under jockey Richard Eramia in the Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, March 10, 2018 (c) Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography

Normal Lee Stockseth and Todd Dunn’s Cosmic Burst returned to the winner’s circle on Saturday with a 1 3/4-length victory under jockey Richard Eramia in the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park.

The Honeybee is part of the Championship portion of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks and offered up 50-20-10-5 points to the respective top four finishers.

Amy’s Challenge attempted to grab the majority of those points while leading all the way home in the 1 1/16-mile contest. The dark bay miss charged out of the gate and took command, drawing off to be eight lengths clear on the backstretch while setting splits of :23.27, :46.02, 1:10.27 and 1:37.40.

Eramia allowed Cosmic Burst to settle into stride in second early before setting her down entering the turn. Cosmic Burst collared Amy’s Challenge and pulled away to stop the clock in 1:44.19 over the fast main track. Sent off the 4-1 third choice, she returned $10.80 for the win.

The bay daughter by Violence now sits in fourth on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard with 52 total points, having earned the other two when finishing third in the Martha Washington Stakes while making her sophomore bow last out.

Amy’s Challenge suffered her first loss in this spot and joins the Oaks Leaderboard with 20 points. It was another 1 1/4 lengths behind to Sassy Sienna in third, good for 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Red Ruby, winner of the Martha Washington last out over Sassy Sienna and Cosmic Burst, was the 4-5 favorite here and filled the fourth spot, good for five points.

Completing the order under the wire were Bo Peep, Stronger Than Ever and Rahway.

Cosmic Burst ran second in her debut sprinting six furlongs at Churchill Downs last September 21, then broke her maiden by a head going 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland one month later. She returned to Churchill to take a one-mile allowance/optional claimer on November 25, and stayed at that distance to conclude her juvenile campaign with a 5 1/4-length victory in the Trapeze Stakes at Remington Park on December 17.

The Donnie Von Hemel trainee returned to action February 10 in the Martha Washington and is now 6-4-1-1 in her career having banked $267,080 in lifetime earnings.

Bred in Pennsylvania by Pewter Stable, Cosmic Burst is the first registered stakes winner out of the unraced Ghostzapper mare Peggy Ring and comes from the same black-type rich female family as Group 1 winner Lucarno.


Donnie K. Von Hemel, trainer Cosmic Burst, winner

“She definitely broke better today. And, we saw the filly we expected to see last time. You can probably blame the track a little bit for last time. She wasn’t herself from the get go that day for whatever reason. Hopefully, she’s back on track.”

Richard Eramia, jockey Cosmic Burst, winner

“I saw a lot of speed on paper. I was waiting until the last quarter and she responded really well. I really like this filly. She has a lot of talent. Last time she didn’t like the race track because it was so sloppy, but today she did like she was supposed to do. She ran like she was supposed to last time.”

McLean Robertson, trainer Amy’s Challenge, second

“She got a little keyed up in front of the crowd. Her other races have been sprints so she’s been on the backside where it’s quiet. I noticed in the post parade she broke out (in sweat) more than I would have liked. She was pretty pumped. She came to run. She needs to relax a little better than that to run two turns. I was pleased with her effort.”

Jareth Loveberry, jockey Amy’s Challenge, second

“She’s still learning. She ran three of those sprints so fast and wouldn’t quite settle. If I could have gotten that second quarter just a second slower, I think she keeps going. But, she was just kind of excited, first time running two turns. She ran hard even running for home. She was tired, but they came to her and she dug in and tried. That’s all I can ask for her.”