Allamericanbeauty shows off her turn of foot in an allowance April 14 at Keeneland (Coady Photography)
By Mary Eddy – NYRA Press Office
ELMONT, N.Y.— Courtlandt Farms’ Allamericanbeauty will look to parlay a strong last-out allowance victory at Keeneland into graded stakes company in Thursday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Wonder Again, a nine-furlong inner turf test for sophomore fillies, at Belmont Park.
The top-three finishers of the Wonder Again will receive an automatic invitation to the Grade 1, $500,000 Fasig-Tipton Belmont Oaks Invitational on July 8 at Belmont.
Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, the daughter of Into Mischief took a first-level allowance going the Wonder Again distance on April 14 at Keeneland to notch her first score again winners in her second attempt.
Ridden by Frankie Dettori, the talented bay emerged from the outermost post 11 and settled in 10th behind a swift tempo set by Safeen, who exited that effort to win the Horseshoe Indianapolis Handicap in her next effort. Dettori swung Allamericanbeauty three-wide in the turn to take dead aim at the pacesetter and displayed an impressive turn of foot and take a half-length advantage in the shadow of the wire. She completed the course in 1:48.50 and garnered a career-best 76 Beyer Speed Figure.
“Frankie’s ridden for me a couple of times and when you’ve got a guy like him around, you sure like to use him,” said McGaughey. “I liked the way she finished and she showed she’s growing up and growing into herself a bit. This is another big step forward for her, but if you’re going to compete in these kinds of races you’ve got to [try] running in them.”
Allamericanbeauty debuted sprinting on the dirt in December and finished a distant fourth, but relished a switch in surface in her next start and graduated by a neck in a 1 1/16-mile turf maiden in January at Gulfstream Park. She followed with her stakes debut in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks over the same distance and course and finished a closing fifth after closing from 10th-of-11.
“When I was getting to run her as a 2-year-old in the fall, she worked a half-mile [on the dirt] good, but she would never gallop out,” said McGaughey. “When I ran her, I really wasn’t ready to run her, but we were getting ready to get out of here, so I said ‘Why don’t we?’ She gave me that same impression [as the work] – she just ran OK. I decided to try her on the grass and it’s worked so far.”
Out of the winning Lemon Drop Kid mare Apologize, Allamericanbeauty was a $700,000 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Apologize is a full-sister to multiple graded stakes-winner Aurelia’s Belle, along with the McGaughey-trained dual winner Dripping Gold.
Tyler Gaffalione has the call from post 8.
Fellow Hall of Fame conditioner Todd Pletcher sends out the undefeated Spansive [post 5, Joel Rosario], who makes her stakes debut off a 1 1/4-length win over returning rival Juniper’s Moon in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming tilt on May 13 at Belmont.
The Repole Stable-owned daughter of Karakontie has posted both her career wins in near identical fashion, setting the pace and persevering to the wire to win by the same margin in each outing. She earned an 84 Beyer for her debut maiden coup traveling one-mile over the Gulfstream Park green in April and an 85 for her latest trip to the winner’s circle.
“She’s off to a good start,” Pletcher said. “It’s hard to win your first two races and she looks like a filly that continues to improve.”
A $145,000 purchase at last year’s OBS June 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale, Spansive is out of the unraced Bernardini mare Fleur de Cerise. Her second dam, Cotton Blossom, was a multiple graded stakes-winner for Pletcher and won the 2007 Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont.
Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown goes three deep in pursuit of his fifth Wonder Again triumph with Revalita [post 4, Jose Ortiz], Venencia [post 1, Irad Ortiz, Jr.], and Prerequisite [post 7, Flavien Prat].
Wise Racing’s graded stakes-placed Revalita arrives from a game runner-up finish to Heavenly Sunday in the Grade 2 Edgewood on May 5 at Churchill Downs. The bay daughter of Recoletos broke her maiden and won an allowance at Le Lion D’angers in France before coming stateside and finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream in her first start for Brown.
Bradley Thoroughbreds, Laura Leigh Stable, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Cambron Equine and Team Hanley’s Venencia, another daughter of Recoletos, makes her second American start after finishing third in a Keeneland allowance on April 27. The bay filly was a winner on debut in November at Chantilly in her native France.
First Row Partners and Team Hanley’s Prerequisite makes her stakes debut and first start against winners after a second-out graduation going nine furlongs on May 7 at Belmont. The runner-up in that race, Highland Grace, graduated impressively in her next outing on Saturday at Belmont.
Prerequisite, a daughter of Upstart, was a $350,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale and is out of the Smart Strike mare Etsu, a full-sister to the Brown-trained multiple stakes-winner Homeland Security.
Michael J. Ryan’s Irish homebred Be Your Best [post 3, Manny Franco] looks to return to winning ways in her second outing off a seven-month layoff for trainer Horacio De Paz.
The daughter of Muhaarar was last seen finishing an even seventh in the one-mile Grade 2 Appalachian on April 8 at Keeneland where she raced in fourth through the first three points of call before fading in the turn and finishing 5 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Papilio.
The bay filly posted a productive juvenile campaign in which she won her first two outings that included a stakes victory in the P.G. Johnson in September at Saratoga. She closed out her season with a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo at Belmont at the Big A and an off-the-board effort in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in November at Keeneland.
SJB Stable’s Thirty Thou Kelvin [post 6, Feargal Lynch] makes her third start since being transferred to trainer John Terranova in her fourth attempt at a stakes conquest. The bay daughter of Bolt d’Oro won two races in four starts for previous conditioner Jorge Abreu and made her first start for Terranova when third in the 1 1/16-mile Bourbonette Oaks over synthetic on March 25 at Turfway Park. She followed with her latest effort when a closing fifth in the one-mile Hilltop on May 19 at Pimlico Race Course.
Completing the field is Team Spoor’s graded stakes-placed Juniper’s Moon [post 2, Javier Castellano]. The daughter of Galileo, out of the multiple graded stakes-winning multimillionaire I’m a Chatterbox, finished third in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks in March at Tampa Bay Downs and enters from a runner-up effort to Spansive in the aforementioned optional claimer on May 13 for trainer Tony Dutrow.
The Wonder Again is slated as Race 9 on Friday’s 10-race card, which co-features the $150,000 Jersey Girl in Race 8. First post is 3:05 p.m. Eastern.