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Beaumont draws eight
Ready to Act, winner of the grassy Sweetest Chant at Gulfstream Park in her lone 2014 start, headlines a field of eight three-year-old fillies entered for Sunday's 29th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Beaumont at Keeneland.
The Beaumont, to be run over the Beard Course of seven furlongs, 184 feet, offers 17 points (10-4-2-1) toward the $1 million Kentucky Oaks on May 2 at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Chad Brown, Ready to Act broke her maiden in her debut at Saratoga last July then shipped to Woodbine to make her stakes debut in Woodbine's Natalma, where she veered in during the stretch run while in the lead and lost her rider. The well-traveled More Than Ready filly next showed up in California at Santa Anita for a shot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, but ended up sixth that day.
Ready to Act closed out her two-year-old campaign with a nice second going a mile against optional claiming rivals at Gulfstream Park in mid-December, and will be trying a surface other than turf for the first time when going on Keeneland's Polytrack in the Beaumont.
Javier Castellano has the mount Sunday on Ready to Act, who will break from post position 3.
Three other non-restricted stakes winners are in the field: Richies Party Girl, Sweet Whiskey and Tea Time.
Richies Party Girl will make her 2014 debut after closing 2013 with a victory in the Juvenile Turf Sprint on the November 2 Breeders' Cup program. The Any Given Saturday miss also owns a pair of turf wins at Belmont Park and Churchill Downs, but her only foray at Keeneland resulted in a fading 10th in the 1 1/16-mile Jessamine last October on the green. Victor Espinoza has the call Sunday.
Sweet Whiskey, trained by Todd Pletcher, won the Old Hat in January at Gulfstream and was third in the Any Limit at Gulfstream in her most recent start. The bay daughter of Old Fashioned, who was a good second in the Matron at Belmont last year and took her maiden debut at Saratoga by 5 1/4 lengths, has yet to compete beyond seven furlongs. John Velazquez was aboard for Sweet Whiskey's juvenile campaign and returns to the saddle.
Tea Time is unraced since capturing the October 27 Sharp Cat at Belmont for trainer Michael Matz. The Pulpit filly's one try at eight furlongs resulted in a fading sixth in last October's Frizette after leading in the early going of that contest. Tea Time will be ridden by Luis Saez in her sophomore bow Sunday.
Two others of note in the race are Conspired, an 8 3/4-length maiden winner going a mile over Turfway Park's Polytrack on March 22, and Katie's Eyes, who posted a 7 1/2-length win against state-bred stakes rivals before traveling eight furlongs on Turfway's all-weather to be third in the Bourbonette Oaks last out.
Old Hat second Co Cola and stakes runner-up Spring Again complete the Beaumont field.