St. Elias Stable’s Sweet Loretta may have disappointed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last fall, finishing 11th, but she returned with something to prove in Sunday’s G3 Beaumont Stakes. The 3-year-old daughter of Tapit crushed a field of six other sophomore fillies, cruising under the wire about three lengths in front of the field. Ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Todd Pletcher, Sweet Loretta covered Keeneland‘s Beard course distance of seven furlongs and 184 feet in 1:27.77 over the fast main track.
“I had a really good trip,” Castellano said. “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-G1).”
Promises Broken jumped extremely sharply from the outside stall to take the early lead, tracked about a length behind by Sine Wave down the chute. My Miss Chiff and Treble were initially in second and third, but Castellano allowed the slow-breaking Sweet Loretta to move up the inside of My Miss Chiff into third after a quarter mile in :23.47. Patiently awaiting his chance, Castellano kept Sweet Loretta in contention all the way around the turn, staying against the rail and waiting for it to open.
After a half in :46.61, Promises Broken was joined on the lead by Sine Wave, and Sine Wave tried to take over rounding the turn for home. Unfortunately for her, Promises Broken blew the turn a bit, leaving room for Castellano to move Sweet Loretta through on the inside to take the lead. The race was pretty much over at that point, as Sweet Loretta extended her stride willingly to cross the wire about three lengths in front of her nearest rival. Sine Wave kept on to finish second, and Laney bested Promises Broken for third.
“She’s been training very well lately,” said Pletcher assistant Ginny DePasquale. “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.”
Bred in Kentucky by Ashview Farm and Colts Neck Stables, Sweet Loretta was a $ 750,000 weanling purchase at the Keeneland November sale. Out of the stakes-placed Ithinkisawpudycat (Bluegrass Cat), the filly won at first asking at Monmouth Park, then captured the G3 Schuylerville and the G1 Spinaway (a dead heat with Pretty City Dancer) in her next two starts. Prior to the Beaumont, Sweet Loretta hadn’t run since the Breeders’ Cup, nearly a five-month layoff. Overall, the filly boasts a record of four wins from five starts, with earnings of nearly $ 340,000.
The Beaumont is Todd Pletcher’s 50th stakes victory at Keeneland, tying him with trainer D. Wayne Lukas for the most stakes victories at the Kentucky track.
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