04/15/2011 2:29PM

Keeneland: Beaumont no lock for Turbulent Descent

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Benoit & Associates
Tell a Kelly, with Alonso Quinonez up, Darley Debutante

LEXINGTON, Ky. – On trainer intent alone, Turbulent Descent would seem to have an edge on her former California colleague and fellow Grade 1 winner, Tell a Kelly, when the Beaumont Stakes is run Sunday at Keeneland.

Mike Puype has been eyeing the Grade 2, $150,000 Beaumont for the recently active Turbulent Descent ever since he decided the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks is beyond her scope. In the meantime, Chad Brown is just getting to know Tell a Kelly and is calling the Beaumont “a good starting point” for the filly to return from a layoff of more than four months.

“I don’t think I have her fully cranked,” said Brown, who was given the filly by owners Ike and Dawn Thrash to train at the end of January. “We’re just going to start out here and see what happens.”

So, Turbulent Descent has it in the bag, right? Well . . . not quite, according to Puype.

“Tell a Kelly is doing just what she wants to do, going one turn,” said Puype, referring to the Beard Course distance of seven furlongs and 184 feet for the Beaumont. “Her two sprints at Del Mar were absolutely out of this world.”

Tell a Kelly, trained for her first six races by John Sadler, won back-to-back sprints over Polytrack at Del Mar, ending with a 4 1/2-length romp in the Grade 1 Darley Debutante in early September.

If possible, Turbulent Descent has been even more impressive, which is a main reason the Florida-bred filly is listed as the 4-5 morning-line favorite Sunday, with Tell a Kelly next at 5-2. Owned by a multi-way partnership, Turbulent Descent is 4 for 5 lifetime, with two of her victories coming in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet in December and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks on March 5, both at longer distances.

“It might be crazy to say about a two-time Grade 1 winner around two turns, but I really think this filly will be even better sprinting,” said Puype. “That’s why we chose this race.”

Turbulent Descent, with regular rider David Flores in from California, will break from the outside post in a field of six 3-year-old fillies entered in the Beaumont. Tell a Kelly, with Julien Leparoux riding for the first time, will start just to her inside in post 5.

Of the others, Gran Lioness (post 3, Jamie Theriot) might rate the best upset chance if she can handle the synthetic. The Bret Calhoun-trained filly owns four career wins, all of them in sprints.

Rounding out the lineup are Coax Liberty, Aide, and Honey Chile.

The Beaumont, which dates to 1986, was won last year by Franny Freud, trained by John Terranova. It is carded Sunday as the eighth of nine races, with post time set for 4:52 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1:15. The race can be streamed live on drf.com, and TVG will provide live television coverage.

As the eighth of 15 programs, Sunday marks the halfway point of the meet while also ending the only five-day week here this spring. After two dark days, the track resumes racing Wednesday, with next Sunday, April 24, dark because of the Easter holiday. Closing day is April 29.