LEXINGTON, Ky. – In the race prior to the Maker’s Mark Mile, Whitham Thoroughbreds’ homebred Four Graces set a track record by winning the 35th running of the $100,000 Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select by 4¾ lengths over Sconsin. She covered the Beard Course of 7 furlongs, 184 feet over a fast main track in 1:24.90 for a stakes and track record.
Jockey Julien Leparoux put Four Graces on the lead with second choice Wicked Whisper just to her outside as the two raced through early fractions of :22.29 and :44.37.
At the head of the stretch, Four Graces put Wicked Whisper away, opened a daylight margin and cruised to the finish line well clear of Sconsin. For Leparoux, it is his third Beaumont victory with previous wins coming in 2009 with War Kill and 2016 with Lightstream.
“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.”
Winning trainer Ian Wilkes observed, “I was watching Julien and the filly, and he hadn’t asked her. She’s got her ears flipping back and forth, so I was quite comfortable with her. Then I was switching back and watching Turtle (Trax, his horse who finished third) too.”
Four Graces picked up 20 points toward the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) on Sept. 4 and hiked her total to 40, a figure that ranks 12th. The Oaks is limited to the top 14 point earners to pass the entry box.
The victory was worth $60,000 and boosted Four Graces’ earnings to $194,450 with a record of 5-4-0-0. It was her third consecutive victory and second Grade 3 having won the Dogwood at Churchill last month.
Four Graces is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Majesticperfection out of the Seeking the Gold mare Ivory Empress. She returned $3.40, $2.40 and $2.10. Sconsin, who picked up her initial eight Oaks points, paid $3.20 and $2.40 under James Graham. Turtle Trax, who finished 4¾ lengths back in third under Brian Hernandez Jr. and paid $3 to show. Wilkes also trains Turtle Trax, who picked up four Oaks points to raise her total to six.
Wicked Whisper (12 Oaks points) finished fourth followed by Slam Dunk.
Click here for a replay of the race and interviews with jockey Julien Leparoux and trainer Ian Wilkes. 》 https://youtu.be/riXrXVuw1dY
Saturday marks the highlight of the five-day Summer Meet with a 10-race program beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET that features six graded stakes headlined by the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2). Also scheduled are three Grade 1 races: $400,000 Central Bank Ashland, $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley and $250,000 Madison.
Keeneland Entries for Saturday, July 11
Click here for a video recap of the third day of Keeneland’s five-day Summer Meet. 》 https://youtu.be/va4DIuPcLM8
Keeneland Press Release
Photo: Four Graces. Credit: Keeneland