The first time her owner Bob Lindgren met her, Honey’s Sox Appeal showed how elusive she could be. “She was running all over the place,” Lindgren said. “She wouldn’t let me catch her.”
Fitting, as the Minnesota-bred mare spent her race career not letting other horses catch her at the finish line. She won 11 of 30 starts at Canterbury, hitting the board 23 times. Her local purse earnings of $427,650 make her the richest race mare in the history of the track.
Honey’s Sox Appeal showed her talent early and often, and it was no secret from the start. She won as the favorite in her career debut as a 2-year-old in 2015. In her final race that season, she finished second in the Northern Lights Debutante.
The precocious filly followed up with second-place finishes in the 2016 Frances Genter Stakes and Minnesota Oaks, then defeated older rivals in the Distaff Sprint Championship. In 2017, she won the Lady Slipper and repeated as Distaff Sprint champion. “Two black-type stakes in one year,” Lindgren said proudly, of a feat quite rare for a state-bred. Honey’s Sox Appeal was named Champion Sprinter of the Meet both years.
Her lone win in 2018 came on Festival of Champions Day, when she won the Distaff Sprint for a third consecutive time. She tackled a longer distance and won the 2019 Princess Elaine at a mile and a sixteenth. During her six years of racing, Honey’s Sox Appeal won at least once each season while displaying remarkable versatility: she triumphed short and long, on turf and dirt, in the slop, among state-breds and open company, carrying eight different jockeys to the winner’s circle.
Honey’s Sox Appeal was retired last year at the age of seven. “She was sound. I could have brought her back to race another year,” Lindgren said. It was a difficult decision for a man who obviously loves his horses, who loves to watch them race and takes satisfaction in watching them win.
But he also enjoys finding the perfect stallion for his broodmares. Honey’s Sox Appeal is now in foal to Malibu Moon and lives at the Kentucky farm of her co-breeder, Paul Knapper.
“Bob’s persistent. I probably would have bred her three years ago,” said Knapper, a longtime friend of Lindgren. “She’s as sweet as can be.”
Lindgren is well aware that the career of Honey’s Sox Appeal, and her induction this week into the Canterbury Hall of Fame, are something to be cherished. And he’s anxious to see what this next phase of the champion mare’s career will bring.