Beau Recall schools in the paddock at Keeneland prior to her start in the grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup

Beau Recall schools in the paddock at Keeneland prior to her start in the grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup

Keeneland/Coady Photography

Beau Recall Headed to the Hillside for Las Cienegas

Sir Prancealot filly will make her 2018 debut sprinting on the Santa Anita turf.

When Slam Dunk Racing and Medallion Racing's Beau Recall won her U.S. debut at a mile on the grass in January of 2017, it was hard to justify dialing back for the rest of her 3-year-old season.

Although trainer Simon Callaghan initially wanted to get the Sir Prancealot filly started sprinting down the unique hillside turf course at Santa Anita Park, because of the progression of races for sophomore fillies, the opportunity never presented itself.

Nearly a year later, with some brutal beats in between, Beau Recall will get her first hillside sprint start Jan. 20 in the $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes (G3T).

"Originally, before she even raced (in the U.S.), we always wanted to start her down the hill," Callaghan said of the now 4-year-old filly who broke her maiden sprinting 7 1/2 furlongs in Ireland in August of 2016. "But the natural progression was to stretch her out. Obviously she ran a great race going a mile and an eighth, so she's definitely a very good filly going a mile or a mile and an eighth."

The 1 1/8-mile race Callaghan referenced is the Aug. 19 Del Mar Oaks Presented by The Jockey Club (G1T), in which Beau Recall was just nosed out at the wire by Dream Dancing. But that wasn't her only tough-luck loss. She also finished just a neck behind the then-undefeated Sircat Sally in the June 17 Honeymoon Stakes (G2T), and came in second twice behind Sircat Sally before that.

Her last two starts of 2017 were fifth-place finishes against top competition in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes presented by Lane's End (G1T) at Keeneland and the American Oaks (G1T) at her Santa Anita home base.

BALAN: Dream Dancing Edges Beau Recall in Del Mar Oaks

"She's an incredibly genuine filly that puts everything into every run. She's run really good races in defeat and it would be nice to get her back in the winner's circle," Callaghan said. "We definitely felt the mile and a quarter (in the American Oaks) was too far. Her optimum distance might be a mile, but we thought, with this race coming up—I wouldn't say an easy race by any means, but there's no dominant down-the-hill type in this division."

Seven of the other older fillies and mares in the field will also be seeking their first graded wins, with the lone graded winner, Claiborne Farm's homebred Bendable, set to enter the gate.

The lightly raced 5-year-old Horse Greeley mare broke through for her graded score June 18 in the Desert Stormer Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita, but the Richard Mandella trainee will make her first start on turf in the Las Cienegas. Although her full brother Clearly Now mostly raced on dirt and earned three grade 3 wins on that surface, he also placed in the Charlie Barley Stakes on the Woodbine grass in 2013. Their dam, Bend, placed in two minor stakes on grass and earned all three of her wins on the green.

BALAN: Bendable Returns From Injury to Take Desert Stormer

"We've always wanted to try to get her on the turf and this race came up," Mandella said.

Entries: Las Cienegas S. (G3T)

Santa Anita Park, Saturday, January 20, 2018, Race 7

  • Grade III
  • About 6 1/2f
  • Downhill turf
  • $100,000
  • 4 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 3:38 PM (local)
11Coniah (CA)Kent J. Desormeaux120William E. Morey4/1
22Bendable (KY)Mike E. Smith122Richard E. Mandella5/2
33Angel Allie (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEvin A. Roman120Mark Glatt8/1
44Princess Princess (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTyler Conner120Richard Baltas15/1
55Miss Southern Miss (KY)Drayden Van Dyke120J. Keith Desormeaux12/1
66Anita Partner (IRE)Keeneland Sales GraduateTyler Baze120Jeff Mullins6/1
77Proper Discretion (OH)Flavien Prat122Philip D'Amato10/1
88Instant Reflex (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateVictor Espinoza120James M. Cassidy8/1
99Beau Recall (IRE)Corey S. Nakatani120Simon Callaghan7/2