Ariege and Golden Doc A, the one-two finishers in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) March 8, will renew their rivalry in the Midwest in the $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland.
The April 10 Beaumont, to be run over seven furlongs on Polytrack, has drawn a field of 10 3-year-old fillies looking to boost their chances of a berth in the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Ariege is listed as the 3-1 morning line favorite – and for good reason.
The Doneraile Court filly, bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm out of the Caerleon mare Kostroma, won the 1 1/16-mile Santa Anita Oaks for trainer Bobby Frankel in her first time off the turf after swinging five wide into the stretch. Her win came off a nose loss to Passion in the Feb. 2 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIT) going 6 ½ furlongs down the hill at Santa Anita for IEAH Stables and Pegasus Holding Group Stables.
Golden Doc A also got a wide trip in the Santa Anita Oaks and was closing rapidly after trailing the field in that race. She won the Feb. 9 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita for trainer Barry Abrams and came into that effort after nearly catching 2-year-old champion filly Indian Blessing in the Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) at the beginning of the year. Bred in California by David Abrams out of the Crested Wave mare Penpont, the Unusual Heat filly has a 3-3-1 record from 11 starts for owner Ron McCauley.
Passion, trained by Todd Pletcher and racing under the colors of Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith, bested Ariege in that La Habra victory to earn her first graded stakes victory. The win came after Pletcher gave the filly some rest and dropped her down to a 6 ½ furlong turf allowance Jan. 18, which she won by three lengths following a ninth-place finish in the Spinaway (gr. I) at Saratoga. A daughter of Came Home bred in Kentucky by Trudy McCaffery out of the Known Fact mare Rajmata, Passion was a $260,000 purchase from Keeneland’s 2-year-olds in training sale last April.
Representing the East Coast will be the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Armonk, winner of the seven-furlong Wide Country Stakes at Laurel March 8. The Mizzen Mast filly, bred in Kentucky by George Stryker out of the Java Gold mare Flaming Satan, was a $400,000 Keeneland 2-year-old in training purchase who has never finished worse than a fourth-place effort in the Frizette (gr. I) behind Indian Blessing. She was second to Proud Spell in last year’s Matron Stakes (gr. II) and has a 3-2-2 record from eight starts for owner Jeff Singer.
$250,000 Stonerside Beaumont (gr. II, race 8, Approximate Post 4:40 p.m. EDT), seven furlongs, 3-year-old fillies, Polytrack
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey
1.Ariege, 123, Garrett Gomez
2. Passion, 119, John Velazquez
3. Armonk, 117, Joe Bravo
4. Tasha's Miracle, 117, Robby Albarado
5. Acacia, 117, Shaun Bridgmohan
6. Minewander, 117, Larry Melancon
7. Keep the Peace, 117, Edgar Prado
8. Golden Doc A, 123, Rafael Bejarano
9. Officer Cherrie, 117, Patrick Husbands
10. Zee Zee, 117, Kent Desormeaux