March 31, 2023

Going Global continues Santa Anita love affair in dazzling Honeymoon

Going Global
Going Global wins the Honeymoon Stakes to go 4-for-4 on the Santa Anita turf (Photo by Benoit Photo)

Although Going Global was a perfect 3-for-3 at Santa Anita going into Saturday’s $101,000 Honeymoon S. (G3), few could have expected the tour de force turned in by the 4-5 favorite. The Irish import had gotten up by narrow margins in her prior stakes victories, but this time spread-eagled the field in a stakes-record rout.

Trained by Phil D’Amato for CYBT, Michael Dubb, Saul Gevertz, Michael Nentwig, and Ray Pagano, Going Global rated in the latter part of the field behind a swift pace. Up front, Pizzazz was rattling off fractions of :22.89, :45.66, and 1:09.79 on the firm course.

All the while, Going Global was confidently handled by Flavien Prat. Her regular rider knew that she had the gears to maneuver when an inside path beckoned approaching the far turn. The Mehmas filly took full advantage of that ground-saving option and cruised into contention turning for home.

Despite the eye-catching nature of her advance, Going Global was still only warming up. Once she straightened into the stretch, the bay left them standing as she blasted away. Going Global was three lengths clear by the eighth-pole, and a final furlong in :11.78 extended her margin to 4 3/4 lengths.

Going Global zipped 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.37, posting the fastest Honeymoon not only at Santa Anita, but even in its pre-2014 incarnation on the Hollywood Park turf. Three Degrees had set the overall stakes record of 1:46.84 at Hollywood in 2005, while the previous best at Santa Anita was Cheekaboo’s 1:46.86 in 2016.

Golden rallied from last to take second by a half-length from Midnight Diva. Quattroelle improved position in a non-threatening fourth, followed by Pizzazz; disappointing 2.40-1 second choice Madone; and Majestic Steps.

Going Global extended her winning streak to five, dating back to her breakthrough score in a Dundalk nursery for Irish trainer Michael Halford. She proved well bought for her new connections when capturing her U.S. debut in the Feb. 14 Sweet Life (G3) dashing six furlongs. Going Global answered the two-turn question in the March 6 China Doll at a mile, and overcame a rough start to prevail in the April 3 Providencia (G3) at this trip.

Both her jockey and trainer commented on the Honeymoon’s representing another forward move.

“We had a good pace and she relaxed very well,” Prat told track publicity. “We were able to save ground and when she found that hole, she was very impressive. She has a great turn of foot and yes, that was a pretty good race for her, her best race so far.”

D’Amato is contemplating a big future:

“I just think that she’s a filly that is just blossoming before our eyes right now. Each performance I thought was better than the next, and this one I thought was many lengths better than the last. It’s just exciting to have a filly like this going into Del Mar and hopefully, the sky’s the limit.

“For a three-year-old filly at this time of the year, she’s probably the best filly I’ve ever had. I’ve had a lot of good Grade 1-winning mares, but this early on in their career, I’d say she’s definitely the best three year old filly.”

Going Global’s main summer goal is the Aug. 21 Del Mar Oaks (G1), according to co-owner Nentwig. The seaside track also hosts the 2021 Breeders’ Cup, so another big performance in her own division at Del Mar could portend a loftier target come Nov. 6.

Bred by N. Hartery in the Emerald Isle, Going Global initially sold to Pioneer Racing for just €15,500 as a yearling at the Goffs Sportsman’s Sale. She has now bankrolled $248,780 from her 8-5-0-0 line.

Going Global is out of the Invasor mare Wrood, who is a half-sister to Group 3 winner Racer Forever. This is the further family of European co-highweight juvenile filly Tiggy Wiggy.