St. Elias Stable’s Sweet Loretta got back to her winning ways on Sunday when recording a three-length victory in the $150,000 Beaumont Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
The Todd Pletcher-trained filly broke out a bit from her 3 post when the gates opened and rushed up under jockey Javier Castellano to stalk inside the early pace of :23.47 and :46.61 set by Promises Broken.
Sweet Loretta maintained her rail spot just behind the leader down the backstretch, but found her way briefly blocked rounding the turn. She shot through when the inside opened up entering the lane and grabbed command of the race. Drifting out during the stretch run, the Tapit filly crossed under the wire in 1:27.77 for seven furlongs and 184 feet over the fast Keeneland Beard course.
Sweet Loretta was sent off the 6-5 favorite here and returned $4.40 for the win, which awarded her 10 points toward a starting berth in the May 5 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs. The Beaumont is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races and was worth 10-4-2-1 points to the top four finishers.
Longshot Sine Wave proved best of the rest at 16-1, 3 1/2 lengths up on fellow 16-1 longshot Laney. Promises Broken just missed third by a neck, and completing the order of finish were My Miss Chiff, Dancing Rags and Treble.
Sweet Loretta was making her sophomore debut in this spot after closing out her two-year-old campaign with an 11th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Prior to that the bay filly posted a 5 3/4-length dead-heat victory in the Spinaway Stakes (G1) and 4 1/4-length score in the Schuylerville Stake (G3), both at Saratoga. She took her maiden debut by seven lengths at Monmouth Park last June and is now 5-4-0-0, $340,520, in her career.
Bred in Kentucky by Ashview Farm LLC and Colts Neck Stables LLC, Sweet Loretta is the first registered foal out of the stakes-placed Bluegrass Cat mare Ithinkisawapudycat, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and Canadian champion Spring in the Air.
This is the same female family as English and French champion and successful stallion Blushing Groom as well as Grade 2-scoring sires Tejano Run and More Royal.
Javier Castellano, jockey Sweet Loretta, winner
“I had a really good trip. I was inside all the way and saved all the ground the best I could. Turning for home, the rail was open and I took my shot. She finished really well. I give all the credit to (trainer) Mr. (Todd) Pletcher for the way he trained the filly, coming off a layoff after the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies).”
Ginny DePasquale, assistant trainer Sweet Loretta, winner
“She’s been training very well lately. She hasn’t missed a beat, so we expected big things from her today. She stepped up to the plate today. We’re very happy.
“I’m not sure what (her next race) is. I’m sure (Todd) is going to talk to (owner Vincent Viola) and figure it out between the two of them.”
Florent Geroux, jockey Sine Wave, second
“I was in the two path pretty much the whole way. She tried really, really hard. The winner was the best filly in the race, but my filly dug in and tried really hard.”
Julien Leparoux, jockey Laney, third
“It was a good trip. She closed and kept with it so it was good. The winner (Sweet Loretta) went pretty easy. I thought maybe at one point we would be second, but she ran a big race.”
Robby Albarado, jockey Promises Broken, fourth
“That (being in the lead after a sharp break) wasn’t the plan. Up the backside, I was hoping and hoping someone would run up the inside so I could lay off the pace but no one did. Pace was pretty rapid. It was fast. She ran as hard as she could, as far as she could. She’s a nice filly.”
Angel Cruz, jockey Dancing Rags, sixth
“I was outside and when I tried to save some ground, the dirt hit her and she didn’t like that. When I asked her to run, she didn’t have it today. Maybe next time.”
Graham Motion, trainer Dancing Rags, sixth
“It’s a little disappointing. They ran away from her early on, which I expected, but I am surprised she didn’t run on a little bit at the end. Angel Cruz did exactly what I asked him to do, which was not to rush her. She will stretch out and go two turns next time.”