In the Gold Best in Beaumont; Oaks Next
In the Gold dueled with Aspen Tree at the top of the stretch, gradually pulling away to a 1 1/4-length win in the $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies Thursday at Keeneland.
Allowed to drop back to last in the five-horse field, the Nick Zito-trained daughter of Golden Missile circled her opponents on the turn under Rafael Bejarano en route to her third win in eight lifetime starts.
"I knew there was a lot of speed in the race and Nick didn't want me to rush her," said Bejarano. "I just waited and she sure finished in the stretch."In the Gold had finished second in her two previous starts this year, the Bonnie Miss (gr. II) and Davona Dale (gr. II). She is expected to start next in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) on May 6.
Aspen Tree ran a strong second, 11 lengths in front of third-place Hot Storm, winner of the Sunshine Million Oaks. Punch Appeal and early leader Brooke's Halo completed the order.
In the Gold ran seven furlongs, 184 feet in 1:26.04 on the fast track and earned $155,000 for Mrs. Charlotte C. Weber's Live Oak Plantation. The winner paid $5.80, $3 and $2.20 as the 19-10 favorite.
"I wanted to try to rate her today," said Zito. "There was a lot of speed in the race and everything went perfect."
Aspen Tree, ridden by Javier Castellano, returned $4.20 and $2.80 after getting a good trip along the inside. "She was second best today," said Castellano. "We had everything going for us. The other filly didn't break well and went wide, and she still beat us."
Hot Storm, with Jerry Bailey aboard, paid $2.40.
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