Keeneland spring meet opens with trio of 3-year-old stakes
Jockey Julien Leparoux scores 500th Keeneland victory
LEXINGTON, KY – Three Chimneys Farm’s homebred Twenty Carat swept to the lead at the top of the stretch and had plenty left in the tank to hold off even-money favorite Slumber Party by 1½ lengths to win the 36th running of the $150,000 Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select for 3-year-old fillies Friday to highlight opening day of the 15-day Keeneland Spring Meet that runs through April 23.
Also capturing stakes Friday afternoon were Stuart Janney III’s homebred Scarlett Sky in the 33rd running of the $150,000 Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3) for 3-year-olds and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred Chasing Artie in the second running of the $100,000 Palisades Turf Sprint for 3-year-olds.
In the Beaumont, Twenty Carat, trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Luis Saez, covered the Beard Course of 7 furlongs, 184 feet in 1:26.04. The victory was the second in the race for Ward, who saddled Gypsy Robin to win in 2012, and Saez, who won in 2019 on Fancy Dress Party.
Twenty Carat also picked up her first 10 points toward the Kentucky Oaks (G1), but is not nominated to the race.
My Girl Red led the field of seven through fractions of :22.18 and :44.79 with Farsighted and Twenty Carat in closest pursuit. On the far turn, Twenty Carat made a three-wide move and surged to the front at the head of the lane, quickly opened a daylight advantage and was never threatened in the run to the finish.
The victory was worth $90,000 and increased Twenty Carat’s earnings to $115,600 with a record of 3-2-1-0. Twenty Carat is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Into Mischief out of the Bernardini mare Secret Jewel.
Twenty Carat returned $9, $4 and $3. Slumber Party, ridden by Joel Rosario, returned $3 and $2.40 and finished 1½ lengths ahead of Amalfi Princess, who paid $3.60 to show under Tyler Gaffalione.
Lady Traveler finished fourth and was followed in order by Farsighted, Cilla and My Girl Red.
Scarlett Sky rallies to win Kentucky Utilities Transylvania
In the Kentucky Utilities Transylvania, Scarlett Sky rallied from last in the field of six at the top of the stretch to overhaul even-money favorite Fire At Will and longshot Palazzi in deep stretch to win by a half-length and post his first stakes victory.
Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Joel Rosario, Scarlett Sky covered the 1 1/16 miles on a turf course rated as good in 1:43.89. It is the second victory in the race for McGaughey who won in 2011 with Air Support.
Fire At Will, winner of last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Keeneland, shot right to the front under Tyler Gaffalione and maintained a clear advantage through fractions of :24.63, :49.83 and 1:14.32 as Scarlett Sky raced at the rear of the field.
In the stretch, Fire At Will turned back a bid from Barrister Tom at the eighth pole and was clear at the sixteenth pole only to have Palazzi and then Scarlett Sky blow past in deep stretch.
The victory was worth $90,000 and improved Scarlett Sky’s earnings to $210,400 with a record of 7-3-3-0. Scarlett Sky is a Kentucky-bred son of Sky Mesa out of the Arch mare Mata Mua.
Sent off as the third choice, Scarlett Sky returned $7, $3.60 and $2.40. Palazzi, ridden by Chris Landeros, returned $7.20 and $3 and finished a half-length in front of Fire At Will who paid $2.20 to show.
Barrister Tom was another 1¼ lengths back in fourth and was followed in order by Earls Rock (IRE) and Breadman.
Chasing Art takes Palisades Turf Sprint
In the Palisades Turf Sprint, Joel Rosario rallied Chasing Artie from last place at the top of the stretch in the field of nine to overhaul Fauci inside the sixteenth pole to win by 1¾ lengths.
Trained by Wesley Ward, who also conditions Fauci, Chasing Artie covered the 5½ furlongs on a “good” turf course in 1:03.46. The victory was worth $60,000 and increased Chasing Artie’s earnings to $87,000 with a record of 4-2-1-0.
Longshot Lock Up led the field through an opening quarter in :21.76 with Bodenheimer and Unitedandresolute in closest pursuit and Chasing Artie far back. The leaders remained unchanged until the upper stretch where Fauci waited to split horses before taking over at midstretch only to be caught and passed by Chasing Artie.
Chasing Artie is a Kentucky-bred son of We Miss Artie out of the Kitten’s Joy mare Frisky Kitten.
Chasing Artie returned $10.20, $4.80 and $3.60. Fauci, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, returned $3.20 and $2.60 as the favorite with Unitedandresolute finishing another 2 lengths back in third and paying $5.60 to show under James Graham.
Blameworthy finished fourth and was followed in order by Lookin for Loki, Bodenheimer, J C’s Champ, Lock Up and Smokin’ Jay.
Racing continues Saturday with a blockbuster 11-race program beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET. The card features six graded stakes headlined by the $800,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2), a major prep for the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on May 1, and the $400,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) a key steppingstone to the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) on April 30.
Julien Leparoux reaches Keeneland milestone
Julien Leparoux made the most of his first mount of Keeneland’s Spring Meet by riding Calumet Farm’s homebred Gear Jockey to win the fifth race and record his 500th career victory at Keeneland. He became the fourth rider to reach that milestone, joining Hall of Famers Pat Day (918) and Don Brumfield (716) and Robby Albarado (526).
Leparoux won his first race at Keeneland during the 2005 Fall Meet, his first season as a jockey. Since then, he has earned 12 leading jockey titles at Keeneland, most recently during the 2019 Fall Meet.
“Keeneland has always been a place I love. This is my favorite track in America,” Leparoux said. “To win 500 here is special. I have my family here with me on a beautiful day. It’s perfect.”
Leparoux’s Keeneland success has helped him earn two Eclipse Awards for being the best in his field: as an apprentice in 2006 and again in 2009.
In his career, he has more than 2,700 victories and mount earnings of $173.8 million.
Gear Jockey, a 4-year-old colt by Twirling Candy, is trained by Rusty Arnold, who scored his 281st Keeneland win to tie Hall of Famer Bill Mott on second place on the list of Keeneland’s all-time leading trainers by wins. Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas has a record 295 victories here.
Leparoux and Arnold increased their win totals in the final race when Reiko and Michael Baum’s Illiogami rallied to notch her first victory.