Beauly wins $100,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff
by Jennie Rees, Eclipse Award winning freelance writer
James Graham shot up the hedge with 13-1 shot Beauly, holding off favored Linda for a victory in the $100,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff at Indiana Grand. It was the first stakes victory for Rebecca and Stephen Hillen’s 4-year-old filly, who was making her third start in the United States after racing last year in her native England.
Beauly, a daughter of Sea The Stars, won one of seven starts overseas before taking her American debut off a seventh-month layoff in a first-level turf allowance race at Churchill Downs May 26. A month later she was fourth in another allowance race.
“Jimmy gave her a fantastic ride,” said winning trainer Brendan Walsh, who is based in Kentucky. “It couldn’t have worked out any better. They (Rebecca and Stephen Hillen) bought her last December at Newmarket. They’re very good friends of mine, have been for a long time. He’s a bloodstock agent. They said she was plenty talented but that she was tricky mentally, that if we could get her right. She ran great at Churchill the first night (a May 26 allowance victory). The second night (June 28 allowance fourth-place finish) she got no cover, which wasn’t anybody’s fault. Tonight Jimmy dropped her out. They were going quick enough, got a lovely run up in the inside. She has a good kick. She’s obviously very talented. It’s great to get that done. I guess we’ll go for something bigger.”
Beauly settled into last of seven fillies and mares throughout the far turn, cutting the corner to fill the opening on the inside, reeling in the front-running Sky My Sky and outfinishing Linda, who had to room to go and was forced to come around horses under Brian Hernandez Jr. It was another half-length back to Sky My Sky and Robby Albarado. Beauly finished the 1 1/16 miles over firm turf in 1:42.27, with her last sixteenth-mile well under six seconds. She paid $28.40 as the fifth choice and now is 3-1-0 in 10 starts after more than doubling her earnings to $111,512 with the $58,800 payday.
Said Graham: “Instead of forcing her, I just let her be (in the early stages) and was hopeful because I knew she’d have a huge kick.”
Walsh noted that becoming a stakes-winner greatly enhanced the filly’s value.
“Big time. That’s why they sent her here,” he said. “They thought she might fit the routine over here mentally, the training and everything might suit her. They talk about at home (England and Ireland), these big long walks to the gallops, these romantic ways of training. It’s not for everyone. Some horses like to go out and come back.”