Alto Racing's Sweet Whiskey, who launched her 2014 campaign with a victory in the Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) leads a field of eight 3-year-old fillies entered in the April 13 Beaumont Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select (gr. II) at Keeneland.
The Polytrack race, named in honor of Beaumont Farm owner Hal Price Headley, one of Keeneland's founders, will be contested over approximately seven furlongs. The eighth race on the card, the $200,000 Beaumont has a post time of 4:42 p.m. EDT.
John Velazquez, who has been aboard for three of Sweet Whiskey's five starts, has the mount again in the Beaumont, and the pair will break from post 4. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the daughter of Old Fashioned enters the race off a third-place effort in the seven-furlong Any Limit Stakes March 9 at Gulfstream Park, before which she drew clear to her 2 3/4-length Old Hat triumph Jan. 4 over fellow Beaumont contender and stablemate Co Cola.
Sweet Whiskey has been working steadily at Palm Meadows. In her most recent drill, she covered four furlongs in :47.90 April 6 and was clocked as the third fastest of 24 horses at that distance.
Bred in Kentucky by Carrie and Craig Brogden's Machmer Hall, Sweet Whiskey is out of the El Corredor mare Baby Betty. She holds an overall record of 2-1-1 from five starts, for earnings of $170,500.
Pletcher also trains Co Cola, who held a brief lead in the Old Hat before Sweet Whiskey outlasted her in the stretch. The daughter of Candy Ride —Young Musician, by Yonaguska most recently ran a distant second in the Feb. 22 Pica Slew Stakes at Calder Casino & Race Course.
Last year, the lightly raced chestnut filly broke her maiden at first asking at Belmont Park, and then ran second by three quarters of a length in the Nov. 16 Smart Halo Stakes at Laurel Park. Owned by Bortolazzo Stable and Chris Brothers, she will be ridden by last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I)-winning jockey Joel Rosario and will break from the outside post 8.
Other Beaumont contenders include Katie's Eyes, winner of the Feb. 14 South Mississippi Owners and Breeders' Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and third in the Pure Romance Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) at Turfway Park March 24; and Ready to Act, who captured the Jan. 26 Sweetest Chant Stakes on turf in her only start so far this year at Gulfstream.
Rounding out the field are 2013 stakes winners Richies Party Girl and Tea Time, who will make their sophomore debuts in the Beaumont; stakes-placed runner Spring Again; and Conspired, who broke her maiden by an eye-catching 8 1/4 lengths at the Beaumont distance at Turfway March 22.
$200,000 Beaumont Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select (gr. II, approximate post time 4:42 p.m. EDT), fillies and mares, 3 years old, about seven miles (all weather track)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Spring Again (KY), A O Solis, W A Ward
2. Tea Time (KY), L Saez, M R Matz
3. Ready to Act (KY), J Castellano, C C Brown
4. Sweet Whiskey (KY), J R Velazquez, T A Pletcher
5. Conspired (KY), J R Leparoux, B S Flint
6. Richies Party Girl (KY), V Espinoza, W A Ward
7. Katie's Eyes (KY), C J Lanerie, G T Forster
8. Co Cola (KY), J Rosario, T A Pletcher
All assigned 118 pounds.