Proper Gamble survived a late challenge by Respectful to take the $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) by the slimmest of noses.
The 3-year-old daughter of Prospectors Gamble out of Bare It Properly (by Proper Reality) extended her winning streak to three. She came into the Keeneland feature off victories in the Dearly Precious Stakes and the Cicada Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
Proper Gamble is owned by Stoneway Farm and trained by Todd Pletcher, who won his second race of the day in the Beaumont. The filly was ridden by Javier Castellano. Dana Holt of Kentucky bred the filly who sold at Keeneland's September yearling sale for $80,000. Proper Gamble earned $155,000 for Friday's win, her fifth in seven starts.
The grey filly broke out on top in the seven furlong race and was stalked closely by Ghost Queen and Bold World in a brisk opening quarter of :22.12. Going into the first turn, Ghost Queen began to fade and the favorite Bold World moved up to match Proper Gamble stride for stride. Respectful took third place behind the leaders and steadily moved up through the turn.
At the top of the stretch, Proper Gamble opened up a 1 1/2-length lead on Respectful but the challenger wouldn't give up. About sixteenth of a mile before the wire, jockey Jerry Bailey on Respectful caught a second wind and chased down Proper Gamble. Respectful lost the race by the bob of a head. Vicki Vallencourt was third by 5 3/4 lengths. The final time was 1:28.79.
"She broke so fast today," said Castellano. "She ran hard all the way. I thought she might get tired but she responded in the stretch. She's a very nice filly."
Proper Gamble paid $5.20, $3, and $2.80 and topped a $19.40 exacta. Respectful paid $3.80 and $3.20, and Vicki Vallencourt paid $3.40. Aly Quatorze, Bold World, and Ghost Queen completed the order of finish in the final stakes race of the Keeneland meet.
"I tell you, this filly is very genuine," said Pletcher. "She's a 110-percenter. Every time we've run her, she's given us everything she's had.
"I knew when the filly (Respectful) came to her, she'd have a fight on her hands. She's just one of those horses who loves to fight." (Chart, Equibase