04/09/2003 11:00PM

My Boston Gal wins Beaumont


LEXINGTON, Ky. - My Boston Gal won twice at Churchill Downs last year, which understandably caused trainer Carl Nafzger to point her this spring to the Kentucky Oaks. But after two losses to start the year in Florida, My Boston Gal was faced with a critical test in Thursday's $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland.

"She had to step up," Nafzger said.

She did. My Boston Gal made a brazen run at the lead from between horses on the far turn, then out-battled pacesetter Bird Town through the stretch to win the Beaumont and earn a berth in the May 2 Oaks.

My Boston Gal beat Bird Town by 1 1/4 lengths, with Midnight Cry another 4 3/4 lengths back in third. Completing the order of finish were Chimichurri, Adopted Daughter, Elegant Designer, Vibs, Perfect Story, and Wild Light.

The field was spread out at the end, 61 lengths from front to back, with 19 lengths separating the first five of the nine runners. That is often indicative of a track horses cannot handle, and several struggled on the muddy surface. Including, according to jockey Pat Day, the winner.

"She didn't care for the strip," said Day, whose victory with My Boston Gal was his third on the card. "It has a sticky consistency. She changed leads three or four times before we left the chute."

My Boston Gal flipped her palate after finishing fifth in the Davona Dale Stakes in her seasonal debut, and that was one reason Day decided to let her roll more than three furlongs from home.

"I didn't want to choke her down," he said. "When a filly has displaced, you want to stay off her mouth. That was the telltale move for her."

My Boston Gal was timed in 1:26.87 on the Beard Course, which encompasses seven furlongs and 184 feet. As the 5-2 favorite, she paid $7.40. My Boston Gal, a 3-year-old filly by Boston Harbor, won all three of her starts last year - including the Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs - and was second most recently in the Bonnie Miss Stakes at Gulfstream Park. She is owned by Randy Bloch, Phil Milner, and Jack and Chester Porter.