Trainer Brian Lynch came into Sunday’s Grade III Adena Springs Beaumont Stakes with his own ideas about what kind of trajectory his charge Lightstream should be on.
As the filly with only one prior start found herself battling a Grade I winner in deep stretch, it became evident the lightly raced daughter of Harlan’s Holiday was completely on-board with her conditioner’s grand plans.
The education of Lightstream is happening at a brilliantly fast rate. In her second career start and first try in a graded stakes, her bay frame surged up along the inside and inched clear of Grade I winner Nickname to win the $150,000 Beaumont Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by three-quarters of a length at Keeneland.
The confidence Lynch had to put Lightstream into deeper waters — and for the betting public to back her as the 6-to-5 favorite in the five-horse field — was inspired by a maiden win at Gulfstream Park on March 6 that has already flattered her beyond the initial result. Both Kareena and J La Tache, the second- and third-place finishers that day, won comfortably in their next starts, while Lightstream herself was giving Lynch all the classic signs of special ability.
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“It was such an impressive debut and she had trained on so well in between,” Lynch said. “(Jockey) Julien (Leparoux) has been on enough good ones over the years and he works her all the time, and there was never a bad word said about her.
“We didn’t think this race was going to be a big field, and we thought it would be a nice test to see if she’s taking us in the direction we want to go with her. I thought the (Grade I) Acorn (at Belmont Park June 11) would be her goal, and she’s keeping us going in the right direction.”
The pace scenario that materialized in the Beaumont was a dream setup for Lightstream out of post position No. 1. R Girls a Charmer set down wicked fractions under Luis Saez with Kinsley Kisses just behind her, going the first quarter in 22.22 and the half mile in 44.64 for the 7- furlong, 184-foot race.
Lightstream actually looked like she was stalling at the three-eighths pole only to pick up her feet when roused and advance along the rail past the tiring pacesetter. Nickname, seeking her first win since the Grade I Frizette last October, had angled out and looked ready to take command in midstretch before giving way to Lightstream’s determined rally.
“There was more pace than I thought there would be but she was traveling pretty good and I just kind of followed (Nickname) around there,” said Leparoux, who earned his 51st stakes win at Keeneland, tying him with Robby Albarado for fourth all-time. “I was going to go outside but when I saw the rail open…she just did it. She kicked on for me and she fought hard.”
Nickname held for second, 1 ½ lengths in front of Kinsley Kisses in third. Final time for the race was 1:26.27 over a fast track.
Owned by Up Hill Stable and Head of Plains Partners, Lightstream provided a bit of salve for Lynch after her stablemate, Heart to Heart, finished a game second after making all the pace in Friday’s Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile.
“You never complain when you’re running second in Grade I races but it’s sure nice to win this,” Lynch said. “As she’s gotten bigger and stronger, she’s gotten a lot more sassy. Obviously to do what she did, she’s got plenty of ability.”