05/30/2009 11:00PM

Well Monied continues quick ascent

Benoit Photo
Well Monied wins her stakes debut in Sunday's Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap at Hollywood under Joel Rosario.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Well Monied began the spring as a maiden, winless after three starts. Two months later, after a three-race winning streak, she is the leading 3-year-old turf female in California.

Well Monied won her stakes debut in Sunday's Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap at Hollywood Park, a victory that could lead to two appearances in Grade 1 stakes for the division this summer.

The options for owner C.T. Grether and trainer Howard Zucker are the $700,000 American Oaks here on July 5 and the $350,000 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 22, or both.

The only thing that prevented trainer Howard Zucker from confirming the filly's participation in the American Oaks is her tendency to lose weight following races.

"I want to try her in there if she's eating up and doesn't lose too much weight," he said.

In the Honeymoon, Well Monied ($4.80) rallied from seventh in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies to win by 1 1/4 lengths over a fast-closing Acting Lady. Lexlenos closed from last to finish third.

Well Monied was confidently ridden by Joel Rosario, who moved the filly closer to the leaders on the turn. Well Monied took the lead in the final furlong and pulled away to take a commanding lead. She was timed in 1:48.35.

"I don't know if there is a prettier mover on the lawn in this division," Zucker said. "She seemed to take the lead like it was nothing. She's so classy and mellow that's she's a pleasure to train."

Well Monied has won 3 of 6 starts and earned $155,700. By Maria's Mon, Well Monied was purchased for $100,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale.

If Well Monied starts in the American Oaks, she will have to contend with Acting Lady, the winner of the Grade 2 Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita in April. Her stretch run left trainer Doug O'Neill impressed.

"She ran dynamite," he said. "Howard has a good filly. I was hoping that Joel moved too early, but he had plenty left."