To Beaumont or not to Beaumont, that is the question (whose answer won’t impact KY Oaks)

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Jen Caldwell

April 10th, 2015

Unless the winner is Sweet Success (Candy Ride) and there are numerous defections from the current leaderboard, Sunday's $250,000 Beaumont S. (G2) will have no impact on the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs.

The Beaumont, scheduled for seven furlongs at Keeneland, is the final prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of contests that awards points toward a starting berth in the Run for the Lilies.

However, unlike recent races such as the Ashland S. (G1) and Santa Anita Oaks (G1), the Beaumont  is only worth 10-4-2-1 to the top four finishers. So even if Sweet Success ended up winning, she would just add 10 points to her current total of 20 and move to #17 on the leaderboard.

With the Kentucky Oaks restricted to 14 runners, the Rusty Arnold pupil would need three on the exiting leaderboard to drop out of the race.

And that’s only if she wins.

Sweet Success has the capability to score in the Beaumont, having earned her current 20 points with a close second in the Bourbonette Oaks (G3) at Turfway Park on March 21. The bay lass led into the stretch of that one-mile affair and was just caught in her first try on the synthetic Polytrack.

Prior to that she broke her maiden by a neck sprinting six furlongs at Gulfstream Park, so the cut back in distance on Sunday could be right up her alley.

Sweet Success will face six in the Beaumont, including the Larry Jones-trained Divine Dawn (Divine Park). That filly took her maiden debut last October at Keeneland on the main track, then shipped to Fair Grounds and captured an allowance/optional claimer on the turf.

Divine Dawn was a well-beaten fifth against stablemate and top Kentucky Oaks candidate I’m a Chatterbox (Munnings) in the Silverbulletday S. on the dirt, then returned to turf to be second in her last pair, including the Allen LaCombe Memorial S.

Even a win in the Beaumont won’t see Divine Dawn going in the Kentucky Oaks. First of all she wouldn’t have the points, and second, Jones has already indicated that one-turn contests are more the gray lass’ speed. She seems destined for the $200,000 Eight Belles S. (G3) on the Oaks undercard.

The only other stakes performer in Sunday’s Beaumont is Harlan’s Destiny (Harlan’s Holiday), who sits in last on the Oaks leaderboard with only five points. The Wayne Catalano charge brought a four-race win streak, including a trio of state-bred stakes, into the Bourbonette Oaks and finished fourth to earn her spot on the leaderboard.

The only losses on her record have come over synthetic tracks, so a return to dirt could be just what Harlan’s Destiny needs to return to the winner’s circle.

Completing the Beaumont field are Miss Ella (Exchange Rate) and Delightful Joy (Tapit), who romped in their maiden debuts at Gulfstream Park; Fantastic Style (Harlan’s Holiday), who wired her maiden by three lengths on January 19 at Santa Anita Park and, just one month later, added a head score at that track in an allowance/optional claimer; and Zeven (Lookin at Lucky), a recent allowance/optional claiming sprint scorer at Tampa Bay Downs.

Photo: Sweet Success (Turfway Park/Coady Photography)