War Kill got the best of Selva after a lengthy stretch duel to win the $150,000 Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at odds of 16-1, giving Julien Leparoux his fourth victory on the card.
War Kill and Selva, with Robby Albarado aboard, were locked together and never more than a body-length apart during seven-furlong Beaumont. The 3-year-old fillies set the pace, and except for a brief, early challenge from Dave’s Revenge, were never challenged. All alone when they hit the quarter-pole, War Kill stuck a head in front and never relinquished her narrow advantage. She hit the wire a half-length in front of Selva, stopping the clock in 1:25.97 on the Polytrack.
“I was on the outside on the backstretch,” said Leparoux. “I tried to get her to relax. She relaxed very good and she fought all the way down the stretch. That was good.”
rallied to get third, 1 1/2 in front of Evita Argentina, who was sent off as the 3-5 favorite. Evita Argentina
entered the Beaumont off a tremendous last-to-first victory against the boys in the Feb. 16 San Vicente (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
It was the third consecutive victory for War Kill, who is a Kentucky homebred of William Shively's Dixiana Stables and trained by Ken McPeek. The daughter of War Chant—Battenkill, by Rahy broke her maiden at third asking Dec. 3 at Turfway Park and won by a head in a first-level allowance March 1 at Gulfstream Park in her sophomore debut. It was War Kill's first stakes victory. She has now earned $139,405 from five starts.
Sent off as the fifth choice in a field of six, War Kill paid $35.40, $7.80, and $5.40. The exacta (5-3) returned $106.60, with trifecta (5-3-2) netting $606.80.
Garrett Gomez thought a slow pace could have ruined the chances for his mount, Evita Argentina. “Things just didn’t work in her favor today,” he said. “She ran her race. She ran good. She just put in a solid run and they weren’t backing up. The fractions were too soft for her early.”
got the first quarter in :23.19, Selva ran a half-mile in :45.77 and War Kill had six furlongs in 1:09.58.