Last seen finishing a near-miss third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), Harvey’s Lil Goil returned in sharp form in Saturday’s $150,000 Beaugay S. (G3) at Belmont Park. The 1.15-1 favorite worked out an ideal trip, courtesy of Junior Alvarado, and got the jump on runner-up Lemista.
Harvey’s Lil Goil broke on top from her rail post, but let 25-1 longshot Platinum Paynter go on with the pacesetting job. Tracking her target in second, the Bill Mott trainee was well placed through slow fractions of :26 and :50.93 on the good inner course. Nay Lady Nay, reserved in third early, began to creep closer flanked by Civil Union. Harvey’s Lil Goil responded by advancing on Platinum Paynter passing six furlongs in 1:15.28.
The decisive move came turning into the stretch, when Harvey’s Lil Goil put away the longtime leader and opened up. Irish import Lemista, who had been biding her time further back on the inside, angled out to quicken smartly. But Harvey’s Lil Goil held her at bay by a half-length, negotiating 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.44.
Lemista turned in a pleasing American debut in second, three lengths clear of the rest. Platinum Paynter saved third by a nose from Nay Lady Nay. Civil Union, also outkicked when the pace lifted, checked in another four lengths back in fifth. Thankful, like the winner a daughter of newly minted Hall of Famer American Pharoah, lagged in last at every call.
“It’s the way we thought it would play out on paper,” Mott told NYRA publicity. “The horse that was on the lead figured to be on the lead. When she felt those horses coming from behind her, she held them safe. It looked like she still had something in the tank.”
Alvarado forecasts improvement from this tightener, likely to set her up for the June 4 New York S. (G2) on Belmont Eve.
“She’s one of those fillies that I’ve been waiting for this whole winter,” her rider said. “I’m glad she’s back and that she pulled out the win today. I still feel that she wasn’t 100 percent, but she was good enough to beat this group today. She’s an awesome filly to have back again and I’m looking forward to this year with her.”
Harvey’s Lil Goil has bankrolled $824,029 from her 10-5-2-1 line. A dual-surface threat, the gray was on the Kentucky Oaks (G1) trail for a time last season, romping in the 2020 Busher and placing third to champion Swiss Skydiver in the Alabama (G1). But she ended up achieving more on turf. Harvey’s Lil Goil scored her first graded victory in the Regret (G3), finished second to Micheline in a course-record Dueling Grounds Oaks, and turned the tables in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1). Coming right back at Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup, she rolled late to miss by all of a neck to British shipper Audarya and Rushing Fall.
Bred by the late Harvey A. Clarke in Kentucky, Harvey’s Lil Goil races for his estate in partnership with Paul Braverman. The well-named filly is out of Gloria S, who is a Tapit half-sister to 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) champion I’ll Have Another. Their dam, the Arch mare Arch’s Gal Edith, is also responsible for multiple Grade 3 winner Golden Award.