Miss Ella remains perfect in Beaumont, but KY Oaks off the table

Profile Picture: Jen Caldwell

Jen Caldwell

April 12th, 2015

The Graham Motion-trained Miss Ella (Exchange Rate) entered Sunday’s $250,000 Beaumont S. (G2) at Keeneland owning just a maiden win, but that didn’t stop the bay filly from capturing her stakes debut in style under jockey Rajiv Maragh.

The duo stalked just outside pacesetter Fantastic Style (Harlan’s Holiday) while keeping company with the rail-skimming Divine Dawn (Divine Park) on the backstretch. Rounding the turn Miss Ella and Divine Dawn moved up to run stride-for-stride with Fantastic Style before Miss Ella eventually drew off to record a 2 1/2-length score.

Despite the win, Miss Ella’s connections have no desire to run in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 1 at Churchill Downs. The Beaumont awarded points on a 10-4-2-1 basis to the top four toward a starting berth in that $1 million contest, but it turns out none in the field were interested in the Run for the Lilies.

That only makes sense as the Beaumont is contested at seven furlongs, well short of the Oaks’ 1 1/8-mile distance, and would be more appropriate as a lead-up to more lucrative prep races earlier on the schedule.

A number of contenders have now been dropped from the Oaks leaderboard, which shows only 25 currently interested in the race. The 14-horse field cutoff appears to stop, as of this writing, with Luminance (Tale of the Cat), who just earned 40 points last Saturday with a runner-up finish in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1). That was just her third career start and her stakes debut.

The next two on the leaderboard are Forever Unbridled (Unbridled’s Song) and Achiever’s Legacy (City Zip), while 17th-place holder Pangburn (Congrats) is reportedly eyeing the $150,000 Edgewood S. (G3) going 1 1/16 miles over Churchill’s turf on the Oaks undercard.

That leaves Money’soncharlotte (Mizzen Mast) and Danessa Deluxe (Summer Bird) in 18th and 19th, respectively. Money’soncharlotte earned 22 points for running third in both the Gazelle S. (G2) and Silverbulletday S. while Danessa Deluxe garnered 21 points for finishing third in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and fourth in last year’s Delta Downs Princess (G3).

Those two were late nominees to the Oaks, just being made eligible at a fee of $1,500 each when the race closed last Wednesday at midnight.

Photo: Miss Ella (Keeneland/Coady Photography)