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LEXINGTON, KY – Despite being geared down late, Whitham Thoroughbreds homebred Four Graces put forth a track record-setting effort to win Friday’s $100,000 Beaumont Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select (G3).
Sent from post 3 under Julien Leparoux as the well-backed 3/5 favorite in the field of five sophomore fillies, Four Graces went straight to the lead but felt early pressure to her outside from the 2/1 second choice Wicked Whisper. The two raced well ahead of the rest of the field through opening fractions of :22.29 and :44.37.
The moment she straightened for home, Four Graces found a new gear and distanced herself immediately. Leparoux only gave her two reminders before wrapping her up late as a clear winner.
The Ian Wilkes trainee completed the 7-furlong fast main track sprint in a final time of 1:24.90, besting the previous track record of 1:25.13 that Two Weeks Off set in 2015.
“She’s a fast filly,” Leparoux said. “The track is pretty quick today, too, but she was doing it very nicely for me in a good rhythm. That’s the way she likes to run – free – and she makes that big kick at the end. I’m surprised we broke the track record, really, but she’s getting much better right now and she’s doing very good.”
Sconsin took second in mid-stretch and held it well, finishing 4 3/4 lengths both behind the winner and ahead of Turtle Trax – the winner’s stablemate – in third. Wicked Whisper came up empty in the stretch and outkicked only Slam Dunk, who completed the order of finish.
Speech was scratched, with her connections opting to run her in Saturday’s Ashland Stakes (G1), worth Kentucky Oaks (G1) points to the top four finishers.
Four Graces’ win was her third straight and second at the graded level, having taken the Dogwood Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs last time out. The 3-year-old Majesticperfection filly now has 4 wins from 5 starts and earnings of $194,450.
“I was watching Julien and the filly, and he hadn’t asked her,” Wilkes said. “She’s got her ears flipping back and forth, so I was quite comfortable with her.”
Four Graces returned $3.40 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Sconsin brought back $3.20 to place and $2.40 to show, while Turtle Trax paid $3 to show.
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