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2023 Beaumont Stakes Replay | Key Of Life Wins Final Kentucky Oaks Prep By A Neck
Candice Chavez/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM

2023 Beaumont Stakes Replay | Key Of Life Wins Final Kentucky Oaks Prep By A Neck

Key of Life won the 2023 Beaumont Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, the final prep race for the 2023 Kentucky Oaks (G1). The Brad Cox-trained Mo Town filly held off a late charge from Interpolate to secure victory by a neck. Is this a future Grade 1-winning sprinter? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The track press release:

Flurry Racing Stables and Hoffman Family Racing’s Key of Life held off Interpolate by a diminishing neck to win the 38th running of the $400,000 Beaumont (G2) Presented by Keeneland Select for 3-year-old fillies on a wind-swept Sunday afternoon. 

In the race before the Beaumont Presented by Keeneland Select, Paradise Farms Corp., David Staudacher, Skychai Racing and Angelo Carlesimo’s Gaslight Dancer won the fourth running of the $250,000 Palisades (L) for 3-year-olds. 

Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Flavien Prat, Key of Life covered the Beard Course distance of 7 furlongs, 184 feet in 1:27.32 over the fast main track. It is the second consecutive victory in the race for Cox and Prat, who teamed to win the 2022 renewal with Matareya. 

Key of Life was fastest out of the gate and ran unopposed on the lead through fractions of :22.24 and :44.87. On the far turn, Stonewall Star and Opus Forty Two attempted to close the gap, but the filly with the momentum was Interpolate, who was launching a bid from fourth. 

Key of Life maintained a clear advantage of 2½ lengths at midstretch and had just enough in the tank to hold off Interpolate at the finish. 

Now 3-for-3 at Keeneland, Key of Life earned $241,800 with the victory and increased her earnings to $633,275 with a record of 8-5-0-3. Key of Life is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Mo Town out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Longride to Wisdom. 

Key of Life returned $2.94, $2.30 and $2.10. Interpolate, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., returned $3.18 and $2.54 and finished 6¼ lengths in front of Stonewall Star, who paid $2.72 to show under Luis Saez. 

It was another 3¾ lengths back to She’s On the Rocks with Opus Forty Two, Shoplifter and Fun and Feisty following in order. 

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Quotes for the $400,000 Beaumont (G2) Presented by Keeneland Select

Brad Cox (trainer of winner Key of Life)

“She’s very fast away from (the gate) and she’s obviously got a lot of speed. She likes Keeneland a lot. like Keeneland and she likes Keeneland; she’s three-for-three here. I’d like to congratulate (owners) Staton Flurry and Greg Hoffman (of Flurry Racing Stables and Hoffman Family Racing, respectively). This was a last-minute decision, so I want to commend those guys. I called them Tuesday and told them I was looking at this race. She was at Oaklawn, so it was a last-minute decision to bring her here and it worked out well. She had no graded black type, so that obviously was appealing. This (win) added a lot to her value and we’re very proud of what she was able to accomplish today.”

On making a last-minute decision when the horse has to ship several hundred miles

“You’ve got to have a van ready – that’s Number 1. Listen, at the end of the day it was a race I thought she fit with, basically handicapping who we thought may go, and obviously the public showed she was the favorite. It worked out. The last eighth of a mile (I was) sweating it out. I don’t know how much farther she wants to go or if she wants to go any farther at all. I think she’s probably better at three-quarters, 6½ (furlongs), but we’re glad to get the victory today.”

Flavien Prat (winning rider)

“She jumped pretty well and she has a ton of speed, so I was able to get myself on the lead and from there she got the job done. (Trainer) Brad (Cox) did a great job getting her ready. She really dug in (when Interpolate came to her outside in the stretch). But as soon as the other horse got close, she really dug in and gave me another gear to get us to the wire.”

Irad Ortiz Jr. (rider of runner-up Interpolate)

“I broke good, sat there a couple lengths off the speed. I tried to wait as long as I could and just got beat in the end. The winner kept fighting – she was game.”  

Luis Saez (rider of third-place finisher Stonewall Star)

“Good trip, perfect. We were following the winner, but at the top of the stretch the winner kept going. Happy with the way she ran.”

John McKee (rider of fourth-place finisher She’s On the Rocks)

“Good trip. The horse was honest, just got beat by some better horses today.”