01/24/2015 7:47PM

Sugar Shock comes off six-month layoff to win American Beauty

Coady Photography
Sugar Shock wins the American Beauty Stakes a by half-length Saturday at Oaklawn Park.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Sugar Shock won her first start in more than six months Saturday, when she surged from off the pace to overtake Spring Included and Haveyougoneaway nearing the wire in the $100,000 American Beauty at Oaklawn Park.

“Those horses weren’t stopping coming to the wire,” said Channing Hill, who was aboard Sugar Shock. “She had to really turn it on from the eighth pole home.”

Sugar Shock, the winner of last year’s Grade 3 Fantasy at Oaklawn, had not raced since June 28, when she was pulled up in the Iowa Oaks. Her effort in the American Beauty, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares, impressed Hill, as well as her trainer, Doug Anderson.

“It shows you how special she is, able to [win at] three-quarters off that long layoff,” said Hill.

Sugar Shock did her best work around two turns last year, winning the Panthers at Prairie Meadows in addition to the Fantasy. Anderson said Sugar Shock could stretch out moving forward, with the Grade 2, $300,000 Azeri at 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn as a potential target. The race will be run March 14. It is a stepping stone to Oaklawn’s biggest offering for fillies and mares, the Grade 1, $600,000 Apple Blossom on April 10.

“We’ll see what goes on,” said Anderson.

Sugar Shock ($5.20) sat off the pace in eighth as Fast N Fine Lookin and Spring Included dueled through an opening quarter in 21.68 seconds for the opening quarter and 46.04 for the half-mile. Sugar Shock shuttled through the stretch to win the race run on a fast track in 1:11.62.

Springsteen Road was pulled up on the turn in the American Beauty.

Sugar Shock won by a half-length over Spring Included, while it was a head back in third to Haveyougoneaway.

Sugar Shock earned $60,000 for the win, her fifth from 10 career starts. She now has earned $458,130. Sugar Shock races for On Cloud Nine LLC. She is a 4-year-old by Candy Ride, and she was bred in Kentucky by Pam and Martin Wygod.