In the Gold, who just missed in her last start and before that ran into the buzz saw known as Sis City, should be the favorite in a short field Thursday in Keeneland's Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II).Only five were entered to run for the $250,000 purse because most of the top 3-year-old fillies ran at Keeneland this past Saturday in the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) around two turns. The Beaumont is run over the beard course of seven furlongs and 184 feet.The Ashland was won in a romp by Sis City, who also ran away with the Feb. 5 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) in which In the Gold was second, albeit a distant 16 lengths behind.Third in the Davona Dale was Jill Robin L, who came back in the Bonnie Miss to meet In the Gold again. In the Bonnie Miss, In the Gold took the lead late but just missed, Jill Robin L beating her a nose. The third-place finisher in the Bonnie Miss, Aspen Tree, is also in the Beaumont field.In the Gold is cutting back in distance in the Beaumont, both the Bonnie Miss and Davona Dale run at 1 1/8-mile. The daughter of Golden Missile is trained by Nick Zito, whose fillies are not getting much attention these days, since he has five males headed to the Kentucky Derby (gr. III).Owned by Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Plantation, In the Gold will be ridden by Javier Castellano.Sunshine Millions Oaks winner Hot Storm and Delta Princess Stakes winner Punch Appeal should both also garner support at the mutuel windows.Hot Storm, by Stormy Atlantic, won the Jan. 29 Sunshine Millions Oaks at Santa Anita by a head, pulling a 21-1 upset under Jerry Bailey, who will be back aboard Thursday. Owned by Robert Adams and trained by Dallas Stewart, she most recently ran third in the Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) March 5 at Gulfstream.
Punch Appeal, owned by Heiligbrodt Stable and Burning Day Farm and trained by Steve Asmussen, won four stakes last year at two including the Pocahontas at Churchill to complete her juvenile campaign. In her first start this year, she won the Delta Princess Stakes at Delta Downs and then ran third, beaten less than a length, in the Tiffany Lass Stakes at Fair Grounds. John Velazquez will ride the daughter of Successful Appeal for the first time.$250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 1:45 p.m. EDT), 3-year-old fillies, about 7 furlongs PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds 1. Aspen Tree (KY), Javier Castellano, 117, 7/2 2. Brooke's Halo (FL), Victor Espinoza, 117, 3/1 3. In the Gold (KY), Rafael Bejarano, 117, 5/2 4. Hot Storm (FL), Jerry D. Bailey, 119, 4/1 5. Punch Appeal (FL), John R. Velazquez, 119, 4/1