February 27, 2024

Desormeaux doubles up with My Boy Jack in Zuma Beach, Fatale Bere in Surfer Girl

My Boy Jack broke his maiden in the Zuma Beach to declare his candidacy for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf © BENOIT PHOTO

Although the winners of Monday’s $100,000 juvenile turf stakes brought very different profiles into the Santa Anita co-features, the common denominator was jockey Kent Desormeaux. After steering brother Keith Desormeaux’s My Boy Jack to a maiden-breaking score in the Zuma Beach, the Hall of Famer helped Leonard Powell’s French import Fatale Bere prevail in the Surfer Girl on the head-bob. Both are now looking at their respective two-year-old turf events on Breeders’ Cup Friday.

Don’t Tell My Wife Stables and Monomoy Stables’ My Boy Jack had a case of seconditis, settling for the silver medal in three straight, most recently the Del Mar Juvenile Turf to Encumbered. With Desormeaux regaining the mount for the first time since his debut sixth on the dirt, the Creative Cause colt put it all together.

The 9-2 shot was bothered early by Restrainedvengence, who was expected to be part of the pace scenario but lost the plot when breaking a beat slow on the rail. Rank and pulling in his discomfort zone, Restrainedvengence veered out entered the clubhouse turn, and My Boy Jack was briefly affected. But Desormeaux got him reorganized off the frenetic pace set by 72-1 For Him through splits of :22.45, :45.62 and 1:09.72, and he commenced an eye-catching move on the far turn.

When the stalking Armour Plate, and 8-5 favorite Count Alexander, ran down the longtime leader in the stretch, My Boy Jack was already about to do the same to them wider out. He readily outkicked his foes to win by a handy three-quarters of a length in a final time of 1:33.84 for the firm-turf mile. My Boy Jack’s effort can be marked up because he actually covered the most ground of anyone in the race; according to Trakus, the winner toured 33 feet more than Count Alexander and 54 more than Armour Plate.

Count Alexander bested the 32-1 Armour Plate for second, and For Him hung on well enough for fourth. Kazan, the third-placer from the Del Mar Juvenile Turf, rolled belatedly from last to take fifth. Restrainedvengence never recovered from his early miscue in seventh of 10.

Bred by Brereton C. Jones, who stands sire Creative Cause at his Airdrie Stud, My Boy Jack was an $14,000 RNA as a Keeneland November weanling. The dark bay sold to his current connections for $20,000 at Keeneland September, and now boasts earnings of $103,145 from his 5-1-3-0 line. His dam, the unraced Gold N Shaft, is a daughter of Mineshaft and Grade 3 victress Gold N Delicious, who is also responsible for four stakes performers including Precious Kiss and Grade 3-placed Cat Alert.

Quotes from Santa Anita

Hall of Fame rider Kent Desormeaux on My Boy Jack: “He’s a nice little juvenile. He couldn’t have had a more eventful trip the first quarter of a mile.  A horse bolted on the first turn (rail-drawn Restrainedvengence) and he really lost a lot of his action. His athletic ability is tremendous to be able to get his legs underneath him after that.

“Going down the backside, he was just cruising again. He’s got a scintillating turn of foot and is a very good horse. He belongs in the Breeders’ Cup.”

Winning trainer Keith Desormeaux: “He’s been sitting on a win and with maturity, he chose the right time to show it today. I hope this win set him up for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). That’s what we strive for, so if they let us in, we’re running.”

Fatale Bere (right) denies Moon Dash to take her US debut and consider the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

In contrast, Fatale Bere had credentials going into the Surfer Girl – if she could transfer the ability she’d shown on softer going in the French provinces to the lightning-quick Southern California scene.

The winner of her first two at Sennones and Le Lion-d’Angers, she acquitted herself respectably in Craon’s Criterium de l’Ouest when third to Mission Impassible. That form looked stronger after Mission Impassible finished third in the Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) on the Arc undercard.

Fatale Bere, in the meantime, had been scouted by Powell. Acquired by the partnership of Benowitz Family Trust, Mark Mathiesen, and Mathilde Powell, the bay is doing her part to put freshman sire Pedro the Great on the map. Pedro the Great, winner of the 2012 Phoenix (G1) for Aidan O’Brien, is a Henrythenavigator half-brother to Footstepsinthesand.

Despite getting off to a sluggish start, the 7-1 shot recovered smoothly and set up shop in a ground-saving spot in the latter part of the field, but began to advance on the backstretch. Up front, Klosters was winging it through fractions of :22.28 and :46.35, and she was beating a retreat when Medaglia Gold made her move through six furlongs in 1:10.73. But One Fast Broad was throwing down her challenge entering the stretch, and Fatale Bere and the wide-traveling Moon Dash were gaining.

Fatale Bere quickened best and dug in to meet the threat of Moon Dash. The latter appeared to poke her head in front in the penultimate stride, but Fatale Bere had her nose down as they flashed across the wire, and her impeccable timing netted her a first stakes win in 1:34.73.

Moon Dash, the 9-2 second choice, suffered a brutal beat between the wide passage (38 feet farther than Fatale Bere) and her head coming up rather than down on the line. The $650,000 Malibu Moon filly was making just her second career start off a Delaware maiden win, with plenty more to come.

The 5-2 favorite, Retro, did her best work late to snatch third from One Fast Broad and Medaglia Gold.

Fatale Bere now sports a 4-3-0-1, $92,285 record. Bred in France by SNC Regnier and San Gabriel Inv. Inc., she was produced by the winning Mofa Bere, a daughter of 1990 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) hero Saumarez. That gives her 3×3 inbreeding to Rainbow Quest. But further back, she has California ties. Her fourth dam Golden Shore is responsible for Grade 1 star Golden Act, both Cal-breds.

Quotes from Santa Anita

Desormeaux on getting the mount: “I might have to give this surfboard (the trophy) to the team. They invited me to come over to the barn to see this new filly that arrived and they said that I should ask the owners to ride this horse.

“I’ve been high on her and this filly can really run. It was a real horse race from the quarter pole home and she just wouldn’t let that other filly by her.”

Winning trainer Leonard Powell: “She ran her first two races at ‘B’ tracks in France, but the horses that she faced all came back and ran really well. I studied her videos and she had a really good turn of foot. She’s a bit of a handful but her appetite has been good and her attitude has been very straightforward since getting to me…

“This might have set her up for the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies Turf [G1] on Nov. 3).  We’ll see how she comes out of it and I’ll talk to the partners and go from there.”