One day after sending out the 15-1 Shedaresthedevil to upset the prime players in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), trainer Brad Cox pulled another surprise in Saturday’s $500,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2). His 8-1 Beau Recall rolled past 1-2 favorite Newspaperofrecord to score a repeat victory in the Derby Day event.
Beau Recall, who went off at 10-1 when winning on the first Saturday in May 2019, was coming off an unsuccessful title defense at Del Mar. Cox was not downcast by her fifth in that Aug. 8 Yellow Ribbon (G2), where she was held up off a slow pace.
Two starts back, Beau Recall was a closing second to Newspaperofrecord in the Just a Game (G1). The venue change from Newspaperofrecord’s wheelhouse – the one-turn configuration of Belmont Park – to the two turns at Beau Recall’s Churchill base made all the difference.
Ridden for the first time by Manny Franco, who guides Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite Tiz the Law in the nightcap, Beau Recall was anchored in fifth early. The free-running Newspaperofrecord went forward with a new pilot, Javier Castellano, since regular rider Irad Ortiz stayed at Saratoga. Carving out fractions of :23.99, :47.93, and 1:11.82, the odds-on choice padded her lead in midstretch.
Inside the final sixteenth, however, Newspaperofrecord began to tire. Beau Recall, just reaching top gear, mowed her down in 1:35.39 on the firm course.
“She knows how to get it done,” Franco said. “I just rode her with confidence. I let her have the target in front of us. I was patient until we got in the clear and that’s when I asked her to run and she just exploded.”
“I thought she had a big shot midway down the lane,” said Cox, whose better-fancied runner, the 4-1 Juliet Foxtrot, was fourth. “She did exactly what Manny was instructed to do. He actually did exactly what Irad (Ortiz) did in the race last year when she won it.”
“The race in California (the Yellow Ribbon), she never had a shot. I want to thank those owners (Slam Dunk Racing and Medallion Racing) for allowing her to run here at Churchill. She loves it here. We sort of knew coming into this week that it could be a big week for our stable. This is our home and to have this sort of weekend on the biggest stage in the sport is really special.”
Castellano was searching for an explanation for Newspaperofrecord’s loss.
“I didn’t have any excuse today,” Castellano said. “I really am shocked because she did everything the right way. She broke well, she wasn’t rank, she did everything the right way. And you can see the pace – :23 and change, :47 and change. The only excuse I can see is if maybe she doesn’t like this grass (course). I don’t know. She did everything right, good pace, good set-up. Unfortunately she just got beat.”
La Signare reported home another length astern in third. Juliet Foxtrot, Daddy Is a Legend, and Belle Laura completed the order of finish. She’sonthewarpath and Harmless, who’s cross-entered to Monday’s One Dreamer at Kentucky Downs, were withdrawn.
Beau Recall paid $18.80 while advancing her resume to 29-8-8-0, $1,411,493. Aside from her two Distaff Turf Mile trophies and the 2019 Yellow Ribbon, she also captured the 2018 Royal Heroine (G2) and Blushing K. D. as well as the 2019 New Orleans Ladies. Her eight stakes placings include four Grade 1s, the past two runnings of the Just a Game, the 2017 Del Mar Oaks (G1), and 2019 Rodeo Drive (G1).
Bred by Tom Wallace in Ireland, the 6-year-old is a daughter of Sir Prancealot and Greta d’Argent, a Great Commotion half-sister to the stakes-winning and multiple Group 2-placed stayer Winged d’Argent. The €17,000 Tattersalls Ireland yearling has made one U.S. sales appearance, RNA’ing for $385,000 at Keeneland January in 2019. Her connections’ decision to keep her, and keep racing, has paid off.