March 24, 2023

Gas Station Sushi captures Beaumont

Gas Station Sushi captures the Beaumont Stakes (G2) under jockey Corey Nakatani at Keeneland on Sunday, April 8, 2018 (c) Keeneland/Coady Photography

Gas Station Sushi entered Sunday’s $150,000 Beaumont Stakes (G3) boasting only one race, a 3 1/2-length maiden score at Del Mar last August 6, but exited the Keeneland contest a graded winner for trainer Richard Baltas.

The Into Mischief filly was sent off the 2-1 favorite and settled into midpack as Uppercut led the way through splits of :22.50 and :45.41. Jockey Corey Nakatani kept Gas Station Sushi well off the rail and was forced to pull her back a couple times to keep the filly from running up on her opponents’ heels on the backstretch.

Nakatani bided his time, patiently waiting for room to open on the turn. When it did, he angled Gas Station Sushi wide exiting the bend. The bay lass ran down the dueling Uppercut and Happy Like a Fool while easily holding a late run from Kelly’s Humor to score the 1 1/2-length victory.

Gas Station Sushi paid $6.20 as the 2-1 favorite against eight rivals while completing about seven furlongs over the fast main track in 1:26.77. She also earned 10 points toward a starting berth in the May 4 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, as the Beaumont is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series and offered 10-4-20-1 points to the respective top four finishers.

That saw the filly campaigned by Riley Racing Stables LLC, Jason and Megan J. Tackitt, and Mike Hensen debut on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard in the 25th spot.

Kelly’s Humor rallied well for second making her first start since a 10th-placing in the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs last November, three parts of a length up on Uppercut. Only a neck separated the third-place finisher and Happy Like a Fool, who was followed under the wire by Dream It Is, Upset Brewing, In the Mood, Sunny Skies and Summer Sunday.

Gas Station Sushi is now perfect in two career starts and has banked $126,000 lifetime. Bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm, the bay lass is the first registered stakes scorer out of the Grade 3-placed, stakes-winning Five Star Day mare Five Star Daydream.

This female family also boasts Grade 1-winning millionaire and sire Taste of Paradise and, farther back, Broodmare of the Year Kamar.


David Meah, assistant trainer Gas Station Sushi, winner

On the importance of having a work over the track prior to the race

“I think it was key. It helped that she got a good feel of it and she (was) quite confident having a go over it.”

Corey Nakatani, jockey Gas Station Sushi, winner

“She’s a special filly. (Sitting off the pace) wasn’t the plan. She didn’t get away great. I was trying to sit in and be patient with her. I have such high (regard for) her. I told (David Meah) don’t worry about where she is.  I think she can do anything and she proved today she can overcome adversity and put in her run.”

Jose Ortiz, jockey Kelly’s Humor, second

“She relaxed very well down the backside. From the three-eighths pole to the wire, she gave me a very good run. She has a great turn of foot and she just kept coming. One more jump and we might have won. She ran very good today.”

Mike Smith, jockey Uppercut, third

“She ran great. She won so easy first time (scoring a 5 3/4-length victory in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race in her February 17 career debut at Santa Anita). I don’t think she had enough air in her to go seven-eighths today. She had to run pretty hard from a long way out, which didn’t help and certainly cost us second anyway.”

Tyler Gaffalione, jockey Happy Like a Fool, fourth

“The trip worked out perfect. (We) sat right behind the pace. Coming to the quarter pole, I got her outside. She just got a little tired – she’s coming off a long layoff (since her last race in October). But she really finished up nicely. There was a lot of pace, especially the horse coming from New York and the two California shippers. I figured there was going to be a hot pace. Everybody ran really well.”