John Oxley's Beautiful Pleasure, the 1999 champion older filly or mare in North America, is among 73 distaffers nominated to the $500,000 Beverly D. Handicap (gr. I), a 1 3/16-mile grass test that will be run at Arlington International Aug. 19. The Beverly D. will be run on the same card as Arlington's premier event, the $2-million Arlington Million (gr. I), and the $400,000 Secretariat (gr. I).
Trainer John T. Ward said Beautiful Pleasure was nominated to the Beverly D. because turf racing is an option her connections may want to consider later this season. While main track competition is in the immediate plans for the daughter of Maudlin, Ward said grass racing provides the stable with a backup plan, especially if the weights assigned the mare become too heavy.
"We always like to have a backup plan in the handicap division," Ward said.
The trainer noted that Beautiful Pleasure has trained on grass three or four days a week during the winter for the past two years and that the mare is bred for grass. Beautiful Pleasure is a full sister to turf star Mecke, whose victories included the Arlington Million and Early Times Turf Classic, and is a half-sister to Jeb, a multiple stakes winner on turf. "She handles it (grass) well," Ward said.
Also nominated to the Beverly D. were Black Helen Handicap (gr. II) winner Snow Polina, Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. II) winner Caffe Latte, and grade III winner Tout Charmant.