Slam Dunk Racing and Medallion Racing retained Beau Recall after she RNA’d for $385,000 at Keeneland this January, and the Irish-bred rewarded that decision with arguably a new career high in Saturday’s $400,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2). Continuing the theme of upsets on the Derby Day undercard, the 10-1 chance surged past the 12-1 Got Stormy to spark a $23 win payoff.
Although Beau Recall had scored at the same level in last year’s Royal Heroine Mile (G2) at Santa Anita, that field didn’t compare to the depth she faced here. The ubiquitous Chad Brown had the top two betting choices, classy European imports Precieuse and Environs, and George Weaver’s Daddy Is a Legend came in for solid support as well.
But Beau Recall did have a newfound consistency since switching circuits and joining Brad Cox. Successful in two of three at Fair Grounds over the winter, the Sir Prancealot mare captured the December 22 Blushing K D, placed a close second in the February 16 Albert M. Stall Memorial, and regained the winning thread in the March 23 New Orleans Ladies. If the form didn’t set the world alight, she did fire a bullet and pick up Irad Ortiz Jr.
When the gate opened, Take These Chains took command through an opening quarter in :23.82 on a Churchill Downs course still firm with rain not yet on the scene. Yet she was racing several paths off the inside, and Capla Temptress and Valedictorian couldn’t resist the invitation to advance. Capla Temptress held the advantage through splits of :48.28 and 1:12.69, at which point Take These Chains dropped anchor, and Got Stormy and Daddy Is a Legend improved position.
Got Stormy was the first to pounce in the stretch, driving 2 1/2 lengths clear. Then Beau Recall, who had been last of 10 early, began to unwind. Hitting top gear in deep stretch, she swept to a 1 1/4-length decision in a final time of 1:37.12.
Daddy Is a Legend was just a head shy of Got Stormy in third. Environs, well back early after a leisurely start, stayed on for fourth without ever showing the turn of foot from her American debut at Keeneland. Stablemate Precieuse, the 5-2 favorite, was a similarly one-paced fifth, followed by defending champion Proctor’s Ledge; Capla Temptress; Valedictorian; Raven’s Lady; and the tailed-off Take These Chains.
Beau Recall’s resume now reads 22-6-5-0, $740,593. Exported to California after a Tipperary maiden win, the bay became a stakes regular for trainer Simon Callaghan. The runner-up in the 2017 Del Mar Oaks (G1), Honeymoon (G2), Senorita (G3), and China Doll finally earned a laurel in the Royal Heroine, only to lose her way until relocating to Fair Grounds.
Bred by Tom Wallace in the Emerald Isle, Beau Recall initially sold for €17,000 as a Tattersalls Ireland yearling. She is a half-sister to Polish classic winner Summer Lane and English stakes-placed Coolminx, all out of the Great Commotion mare Greta d’Argent. The dam is herself a half-sister to the Group 2-placed and stakes-winning stayer Winged d’Argent.
Quotes from Churchill Downs
Winning rider Irad Ortiz Jr.: “I had a perfect trip. She doesn’t have too much speed so she was in the back and was relaxed. When I asked her to run, she was there for me. She was comfortable the whole way.”
Winning trainer Brad Cox: “She got class relief this winter at the Fair Grounds. It picked her head back and she has figured out how to win again. I think ultimately that’s what got her going in the right direction again. She did move forward when she got up here after the Fair Grounds and she showed it today.”
Jockey Tyler Gaffalione on runner-up Got Stormy: “She emptied out. She gave me everything she had. She ran a great race.”
Manny Franco, who rode third-placer Daddy Is a Legend: “I had a good trip and my filly gave it a very good try.”