Keeneland opens this Friday and the feature is the Grade III Beaumont... See who is in for the race that offers the top horses Kentucky Oaks Points!
7F (Dirt), Beaumont Stakes (G3), Purse $150k, 3F
The Grade III is a fixture during Keeneland’s April Meet. At stake for these 3-yr-old fillies are Kentucky Oaks Points that range from 10-4-2-1, respectively. What this race offers is not only a solid purse structure, but also serves as a nice freshening before next month’s trip to Churchill Downs. In the near past, victors have included Ready to Act, Miss Ella, Lightstream, Sweet Loretta, Gas Station Sushi (a favorite of mine), Fancy Dress Party, and last year’s winner, Four Graces. Who will be tested this time around 1-turn in the Beaumont S.?
Now, let’s find out about this field…
#1 My Girl Red (Jky: J. Graham/Trn: K. Desormeaux):
Here is a filly out of Texas Red who is coming off the shelf after running last summer at Del Mar. Those efforts near San Diego were a tale of 2 races. The Sorrento (G2) was monumental for her as she smoked a 6-horse field. Then in the DMR Debutant (G1) she folded after being knocked into the rail. Trainer Keith Desormeaux sent her to the Fair Grounds in order to get into shape here in 2021, and it is a big unknown whether her works prove her fitness level at this point. With James Graham riding at the scene where he got hot last fall, you never know about a runner like this one.
#2 Slumber Party (Jky: J. Rosario/Trn: K. Breen):
Jockey Joel Rosario had the opportunity to ride Kelly Breen’s daughter of Malibu Moon on debut at Gulfstream Park, and the pair were stellar. What a way to break a maiden with a 7-length victory… If she is as sharp as that performance against some much tougher competition, then she will be very formidable to beat. Breen is not a conditioner who enters many “Graded” events, but despite that, talent always wins out. Don’t forget that this is a homebred who is owned by Gary and Mary West. They do not do anything halfway when it comes to raising stock, and they continue to pursue those trophies that reflect the very best contests the sport has to offer. Once again, we have an entry that does not have many races under her belt, and that is a concern when it comes to stamina. A 1-turn, longer sprint, requires just the right touch. Miss the break and you are done… Go too fast up front and you risk burning out… Rosario is as strong as ever after shipping 2x to the Middle East in the past couple months.
#3 Farsighted (Jky: J. Leparoux/Trn: G. Arnold):
Trainer George Arnold returns to Keeneland in the hopes of garnering some Oaks Points for his filly who is owned by Mr. G. Watts Humphrey. The daughter of Bernardini was a “runbacker” at Keeneland during Fall Stars, and she did well. Those 2 races, a MSW70k and the Songbird125k, resulted in a 1st and 2nd Place set of finishes, respectively. Her conditioner then tried to steamroll into the Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill Downs against Cox’s Travel Column, and the result was a dud. Flashforward to 2021, and after a rest, she emerged at Gulfstream Park during a monsoon. The MT was sloppy, but the filly handled it amazingly with a 4+ length score. Now she heads into a little longer sprint. I like her chances with the venerable Julien Leparoux aboard. He rises to the occasion when it comes to Keeneland, and his mount will be more than a square price.
#4 Amalfi Princess (Jky: T. Gaffalione/Trn: M. Maker):
The pair of Mike Maker and Tyler Gaffalione form a strong partnership when it comes to working out a strategy. Here is a runner whose sire normally dictates that they enter turf races, and that is exactly what Maker did with her last out. In a Gulfstream Park sprint on the grass at the OC75k-level, the filly finished a game 2nd. Now, as she comes to Keeneland to try the MT, there is no reason to think that she cannot take to the surface. Three Diamonds Farm also owns Fire at Will, who is drawn in for the Transylvania (G3), and they find ways to push the envelope. They are employing an excellent conditioner, and I like the move to enter this race. Could we be looking at a Maker Double?
#5 Lady Traveller (Jky: C. Lanerie/Trn: D. Romans):
Dale Romans has an incredibly consistent 3-yr-old filly, who has great ability to challenge any that are entered here. She has only won 1 of her 6 races, but her competitiveness is pretty inviting. Her connection to Quality Road made her conditioner try the turf last time out in a 75OCk distance race on the turf. That was an odd choice in some ways, and now she is coming back to the dirt. If she can make an effort like she did in the Forward Gal (G3) @GP on 30 Jan., then she has a legitimate shot. However, I find Corey Lanerie to be a pretty streaky jockey—sometimes he seems brilliant, and then other times… So, bet this one with a certain amount of trepidation. It may not go well for Romans, who seems to be wandering around in the dark.
#6 Cilla (Jky: C. Hernandez/Trn: B. Brinkman):
Brett Brinkman is one of my favorite Louisiana conditioners because he has a nice stable, and I find his horses to be underrated. He is coming to Keeneland with an entry who may get little in the way of respect. I think this filly out of California Chrome exhibited a nice effort in a higher-level ALLW56k contest at the Fair Grounds. That win was just what these connections needed, and I think coming to Keeneland is a dream shot. Brinkman has a major overlay on his hands, but it may not result in an upset win, as Colby Hernandez rides. He bred this filly along with Dale Ladner, who is the owner. This is precisely what horse racing is about, and the best way to describe it… what dreams may come…
#7 Twenty Carat (Jky: L. Saez/Trn: W. Ward):
One of the “Kings” of Keeneland who enjoys a fair amount of home court advantage is this filly’s conditioner, Wesley Ward. He winters up at Turfway Park, but once the cold snap heads out the door, it is time to ready his stable for racing in Lexington. He sends an interesting runner into this G3, with the belief that she can step up into some tougher company. With 2 races under her belt, both those efforts were wins @TP against MSW32k types. Racing at that track is not the same as the way Keeneland’s dirt track aligns. But if anyone knows the ins and outs, it is Ward. A former jockey, he has built a successful racing stable by emphasizing the fundamentals. Teaching his charges to break quickly from the gate gives all of them a distinct advantage. Having a filly out of the versatile “Super Sire,” Into Mischief is also another tick in the box. If she can hang with some of these more experienced fillies by using her speed, she might be able to outlast them all. Will not be easy, but Luis Saez is an absolute ace rider in these situations.
Join us Friday for all of our Keeneland selections, as Handicapper Sean and Turfwriter J.N., go head-to-head in what promises to be a fabulous Horseracing.net Handicapping Challenge! Should be a great set of races as the April Meet gets underway!