Slam Dunk Racing and Medallion Racing’s Beau Recall continued her ascendance for trainer Brad Cox in Saturday’s $200,351 Yellow Ribbon H. (G2), but the Kentucky shipper encountered more drama than she’d bargained for in her return to Del Mar. Involved in scrimmaging on the far turn, Beau Recall recovered to join Storm the Hill on the line, awaited the photo-finish verdict for a while, and had to sweat out an objection before the stewards finally declared her the official winner.
With the streaking Vasilika bet down to 4-5 favoritism, Beau Recall went off as the 2-1 second choice. Both were reserved off the steady pace, initially set by Monmouth invader Valedictorian through an opening quarter in :23.98 on the firm turf. But at that point she eased back and deferred to Storm the Hill, a 10-1 shot who seized the opportunity to dole out fractions of :48.02 and 1:12.09 and skipped away at the top of the stretch.
Meanwhile, Beau Recall had been parked in a ground-saving fourth by Drayden Van Dyke, one spot behind Vasilika. Lemoona, last of six early, moved through on the inside leaving the backstretch and improved her position, drawing alongside Beau Recall. As they entered the far turn, an incident occurred between Beau Recall, whose whole body language changed as she cocked her head and lost her stride, and Lemoona, who steadied and dropped out of contention.
Beau Recall shrugged it off and quickened in pursuit of Storm the Hill. The leader appeared to have enough to stave her off until the waning yards, when Beau Recall surged.
Vasilika also hit her best gear late, but the 125-pound highweight came up a half-length shy of the top two. Beau Recall was receiving four pounds, and Storm the Hill six. Thus ended Vasilika’s four-race winning spree.
Valedictorian checked in fourth. Elysea’s World was understandably outpaced in the sit-sprint at a 1 1/16-mile trip that’s sharp enough for her. Lemoona trailed, and her jockey, Mario Gutierrez, lodged an objection against Van Dyke on the winner.
The stewards ruled that the altercation did not have a bearing on the finish and thereby let the result stand. Multi-angle replays showed that both were affected, but at that point on the turn, culpability wasn’t clear. And Beau Recall had to overcome the incident herself to regain her balance and unleash her turn of foot.
It took a withering final sixteenth in :5.94, according to Trakus, for Beau Recall to prevail on the head-bob and deny Storm the Hill. By forcing her nose down in 1:41.23, she scored her first win at the seaside track, two years after her photo loss in the Del Mar Oaks (G1).
Beau Recall is closing in on millionaire status with $990,593 in earnings from her 24-7-6-0 line. The Irish import spent much of her career based in Southern California with Simon Callaghan, who himself celebrated a big win at Del Mar Saturday with exciting juvenile Amalfi Sunrise in the Sorrento (G2). Aside from her Del Mar Oaks near-miss, Beau Recall was runner-up in the 2017 Honeymoon (G2), Senorita (G3), and China Doll. She earned an overdue first stakes win in the 2018 Royal Heroine (G2), but failed to hit the board in her six ensuing starts on the circuit.
Transferred to Cox late last year, Beau Recall was rejuvenated by wintering in New Orleans. The Sir Prancelot mare hasn’t been out of the top two since, capturing the Blushing K D, New Orleans Ladies, and Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) and yielding only to Mitchell Road in the Al Stall Memorial and Rushing Fall in the Just a Game (G1).
Beau Recall was bred in the Emerald Isle by Tom Wallace and fetched €17,000 ($19,020) as a Tattersalls Ireland yearling. She toured the ring at Keeneland this January, but RNA’d for $385,000, and has proved a wise retention by enhancing her catalog page all season.
A half-sister to Polish classic winner Summer Lane, Beau Recall is out of the winning Greta d’Argent, a Great Commotion half-sister to stakes hero and multiple Group 2-placed stayer Winged d’Argent.
Quotes from Del Mar
Assistant trainer Donnie Balthazar on Beau Recall: “Brad (Cox) just told me to keep her happy and get her to the race happy and healthy. Brad called Drayden earlier today and then Drayden and I just touched base before the race to go over what Brad said. After that, it was him and her. I was nervous at the finish and then it got even more nerve wracking with the objection. I’ve come out here before when we have one running, but I’ve never won a stakes like this.”
Winning rider Drayden Van Dyke: “That incident cost me at least half a length. I got pushed out. My mare was going good and got thrown off stride. She was game. She was coming good. I was hoping I got there, but I had no idea.”
Rafael Bejarano on almost engineering the upset aboard Storm the Hill: “She tried. I can’t believe I got beat. I knew I had to beat the 4 (Vasilika) and I had her. Then that other filly slips up on me. I can’t believe I got beat.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux, who was subbing for Flavien Prat on third-placer Vasilika: “She was in a good position and she ran well. She gave it a good try. I think the slow pace cost us a bit.”