04/14/2013 5:14PM

Keeneland: Beaumont win thrusts Ciao Bella Luna into Kentucky Oaks picture

Coady Photography
Ciao Bella Luna, ridden to victory in the Beaumont by Joel Rosario, would have to be supplemented at a cost of $30,000 to run in the Kentucky Oaks.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Jerry Hollendorfer has won the Kentucky Oaks three times, and the Hall of Fame trainer may want to give the filly classic another shot after he was represented Sunday by the victorious Ciao Bella Luna in the Grade 2, $150,000 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Ciao Bella Luna ran down Magical Moon to win the Beaumont by 2 1/2 lengths. Judy In Disguise, the 2-1 favorite in a field of 11 3-year-old fillies, finished another 2 3/4 lengths behind in third.

Ciao Bella Luna, a Kentucky-bred by Tribal Rule, returned $16.60 after finishing the Beard Course distance of seven furlongs and 184 feet in 1:26.92 over Polytrack.

Hollendorfer said by phone after the Beaumont that “we’ll have to see about” running Ciao Bella Luna, who is not nominated, back in the May 3 Oaks. The bay filly earned 20 “wild card” points toward eligibility in the Oaks, which as of Sunday evening put her on the cusp of making the cut, given the way the field is taking shape. The Oaks field is limited to 14. A $30,000 supplementary fee would be required for Ciao Bella Luna to become eligible.

On a cloudy, seasonable afternoon, and with 18,325 in attendance, Ciao Bella Luna raced in midpack down the backstretch before emerging as the main threat to Magical Moon, who had shaken off all pursuers when taking a clear lead past the quarter pole. Down the stretch, Ciao Bella Luna proved clearly best when winning for the third time in six career starts.

“She was all there for me,” said Rosario, the leading jockey halfway through the 16-day spring meet.

Owned by a four-way partnership, Ciao Bella Luna was winning a stakes for the first time after three failed attempts, the latest coming in a “down the hill” sprint on the Santa Anita turf. She has won 3 of 6 overall starts.

Fearless Jacq finished fourth and was followed by Premier Steps, Irish Presence, Allaboutcaroline, Renee’s Titan, My Special J’s, Cash Is Queen, and Lady Banks.

Magical Moon was ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. in place of Rosie Napravnik, who took off sick from her five Sunday mounts .


Cash Is Queen, a 40-1 shot, nearly fell when swerving sharply from her rail post toward the inner rail on the backstretch run, but jockey Robby Albarado adeptly stayed aboard.

Hollendorfer, incidentally, won the Santa Lucia Stakes at Santa Anita with Sister Kate just 15 minutes after winning the Beaumont. His three Oaks winners came with Lite Light (1991), Pike Place Dancer (1996), and Blind Luck (2010). He recently passed King Leatherbury for fourth on the all-time wins list in North America.

One race earlier Sunday at Keeneland, Utley ($23.20) returned from a 6 1/2-month layoff to win a $64,136 turf allowance over several stakes winners. Edgar Prado was aboard for Augustin Stable and Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard.