Trainer Mike Puype could wind up looking like a genius by
year’s end if Turbulent Descent continues to dominate her competition the way
she has in five of her six lifetime starts. After finishing her juvenile season
undefeated in three starts including the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet many people
had the talented daughter of Congrats pegged as an early Kentucky Oaks favorite.
She began 2011 with a solid second place finish to Zazu in the Grade 1 Las
Virgenes Stakes, appearing a bit short in her three-year-old debut. In her
second start she returned to winning form, holding off Zazu for a comfortable
win in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr.1) on March 5th. That win once again
had people briefly talking Kentucky Oaks before Mike Puype put those
aspirations to rest. After the Santa Anita Derby he stated his star filly would
bypass the Kentucky Oaks in favor of shorter, one turn sprint races that he
felt his she would thrive on and possible be even better at.
Apparently he was right, as Turbulent Descent romped to
victory in her first start outside of California on Sunday, winning Keeneland’s
Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes by 5 lengths with just a couple of taps from the whip.
After tracking the pace in third position in the closely bunched field of five,
Turbulent Descent moved up willingly on the far turn to take command entering
the stretch. From that point on it was just a matter of how far she wanted to
win by as she steadily opened up with little urging, crossing the finish line
five lengths the best. She completed the Beaumont’s 7 furlongs in a solid time
of 1:26.12 over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface.
[Does Turbulent Descent deserve her current #1 ranking on HRN's 3 Year Old Fillies rankings page over Kathmanblu, R Heat Lightning, Joyful Victory and Zazu?
Mike Puype has made no secret of the fact that he is gunning
for an Eclipse award with his brilliant trainee while aiming her for some of
the nation’s premier sophomore filly sprints like the June 11th
Acorn (gr.1) and August 6th Test (gr.1). If she continues running
the way she has been it’s not a stretch to envision her winning an Eclipse. The
last three-year-old filly sprinter to win the Eclipse Award for 3-Year-Old
Filly was Indian Blessing in 2008 and I think Turbulent Descent has the
potential to be the best female sprinter since that great champion.
Tell A Kelly showed none of her well-known late kick in her
three-year-old debut, finishing 4th in the five horse field. Honey
Chile finished second after helping set the pace up front with Gran Lioness.
The Beaumont will probably have very little impact if any on
the Kentucky Oaks, but on the overall sophomore filly picture it could have big
Photo Courtesy of Mathea Kelley