05/06/2005 12:00AM

Aegon: Mighty Beau takes turf sprint


Mighty Beau bounced back from a tough beat in last month's Shakertown Handicap by blowing past pacesetter De Valmont in midstretch and drawing clear to a 2 3/4-length victory in the Grade 3, $113,500 .

Chosen Chief rallied to be second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Sgt. Bert.

Ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, Mighty Beau stalked De Valmont and Mike Smith through an opening quarter of 21.66 seconds. He took control approaching the eighth pole and finished five furlongs in 56.18 seconds over a firm turf. Mighty Beau, a 6-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelding, returned $5.80 to win as the favorite.

In the Shakertown, Mighty Beau hopped at the start and was last out of the gate. Friday, Mighty Beau broke on top before settling off the speedy De Valmont.

"We were pretty confident all we had to do was get away from the gate," trainer Jeff Mullins said. "Of course, all of you know how good Pat Valenzuela is getting one out of the gate."

Though he had never ridden Mighty Beau, Valenzuela had been aboard De Valmont and knew how fast he was.

"We were able to sit second relatively easy," Valenzuela said. "When my horse switched to his right lead through the stretch, he really kicked, and I knew it was going to take a hell of a horse to come and catch me."

Mullins said owners Mike Cloonan and Anthony Carolan want to take Mighty Beau to Royal Ascot next month for a sprint race on the turf.