In her first start on a synthetic surface, Ready to Act recorded her second straight stakes victory for Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence when she rallied from last to capture the April 13 Beaumont Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select (gr. II) (VIDEO) at Keeneland.
Ridden by Javier Castellano as the 9-5 favorite, the daughter of More Than Ready overcame a bump at the start which put her at the rear of the seven-horse field. She completed the about seven-furlong Polytrack test for 3-year-old fillies in 1:28.08.
Richies Party Girl and Katie's Eyes both had early speed along the outside of the Beaumont, with the former filly recording early fractions of :23.41 and :47.47 while leading by one length. Richies Party Girl continued to maintain her advantage along the backstretch, with Ready to Act bringing up the rear as the pack moved toward the far turn.
To make up ground, Ready to Act went four wide at the center of the track and picked up four positions along the turn. With a quarter of a mile left to go, she was second by 1 1/2 lengths, and then secured her lead down the stretch.
Katies Eyes and Sweet Whiskey kept in close pursuit as Ready to Act nursed her lead to the wire, prevailing by a half length in spite of lugging in during the drive. Sweet Whiskey was second, three-quarters of a length better than Katie's Eyes.
"Usually she would turn a little bit at the top of the stretch and start lugging in, but today she was very focused," said Castellano of the winner. "She gave me a good run in the last part. She tried to lug in but I don't think it was a big deal.
"I really liked the way she settled behind the horses," he added. "First time on the Polytrack and she handled it very well. I like the way she did it today. It was a great performance."
Ready to Act returned $5.60, $3.40, and $2.40, while Sweet Whiskey, under John Velazquez, paid $4 and $3 for her runner-up spot at odds of 3-1. Katie's Eyes, ridden by Corey Lanerie, was three quarters of a length farther back in third and paid $3.20 at odds of 6-1.
Bred in Kentucky by Fred Hertrich III, Ready to Act was a $200,000 purchase at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale. She is out of the winning Mizzen Mast mare Always Auditioning, who is a full sister to grade I winner Mast Track .
"She really deserved to win a grade II," said trainer Chad Brown of Ready to Act, who came into the race off a victory in the Jan. 26 Sweetest Chant Stakes at Gulfstream Park. She now holds a record of 3-1-0 from six starts and earnings of $236,651.
"She had a race as a 2-year-old up in Canada (the Natalma at Woodbine) where she was clearly in front and lost the jock and lost her chance to win a grade II," Brown said. "Javier did a great job once again keeping her straight. As you can see, she's a work in progress. We still have some things to work out with her, but if we do get her running straight down the lane she's probably going to gain a few lengths.
"We'll take her back to our base in New York and look for something there for her."
The victory was worth 10 points toward a start in the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 2 at Churchill Downs for Ready to Act.