Last Way To The Beac Shows the Way with Comfortable Whittingham Stakes Win

Whittingham Stakes (Grade 2)- $225.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Turf
April 30, 2022

The field for the Whittingham Stakes was very impressive, and certainly worthy of competing against once another for twice as much as the $225.000 purse that was offered for the race. This made it a tough race to pick, and given that, Last Way To The Beac’s recent races against the best in the division overshadowed his recent victories. He would go off as a 23/1 longshot, but certainly one that was very capable of scoring the win. The four year old gelding would not show the way to the beach here, but he have the rest of the field follow him for ten furlongs along the turf at SA as he went wire to wire for the win. It ends up being the second win in race for trainer Maxmillion Farm, who also won in 2017 with Super Charger. Jockey J R Velazquez earns his first Whittingham trophy. Congratulations to them! The time of the race was 1:58.09. Here’s a look at it!

(½ Mile- :47.40)- Last Way To The Beac wastes no time in this one, breaking out of the gate sharply for Maxmillion Farm. The eventual winner of the race has some company to his outside as Never Met Me, who does end up finishing second, is right beside him, within a half length of the leader, for Mb Stables. The rest of the field was left behind, as you can’t really say that they had any stalkers. There was a gap of four lengths to everyone else with Neds Influence a distant third for The Sidley Stud. Former Maxmillion Farm, now Ace Racing Stable gelding, Stallsome, ran fourth to his outside, and John Henry’s Winter Solstice was nearby on the rail. Going back further, seven lengths from the lead, were Iron Nation (Nakamura Stables) and Billy Joel (La Canada Racehorses) and Dons Woman (Nolespan Racing) trailed the field.

(3/4 Mile- 1:10.67)- Down the backstretch, it was still a two horse show at the front. Last Way To The Beac continued to lead, and was not overextending himself with these fractions. His lead over Never Met Me was a clear length now, and the two of them still were running well. The gap to third was still large, and you had to wonder when any of these other horses were going to make their push to the front. Perhaps Winter Solstice was doing so as they approached the turn, as he used the rail to move into third, but still had around four lengths to make up. Neds Influence held the fourth position while running in the second lane and he was a length ahead of Billy Joel and Stallsome, with Iron Nation nearby to them. Dons Woman continued to run at the back.

(Top of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Rounding the turn, Last Way To The Beac is showing no signs of tiring and he shows the way around the turf course. Never Met Me is still a length behind him, trying to keep up with him. It was beginning to have the looks of a pacesetter getting away from the field as while horses from third on back were getting a little closer, none of them were making a large push. They still had time, but it would be a tall order. Winter Solstice and Billy Joel were the best bets now to be the ones to make the late close. Each had about three lengths to make up still. Iron Nation was fifth, but did not advance with those two and it was not looking like his day. Neds Influence was beginning to call it a day, while Stallsome already did so. Nothing was coming from Dons Woman.

(Finish- 1:58.09)- There would be no catching Last Way To The Beac in this one, as he never tires out and scores the wire to wire busy. While it did take a great effort by this gelding, he really made this look very easy today and certainly should not be a 23/1 longshot in his next race. His margin of victory was nearly two lengths, with Never Met Me holding on to the second spot for the entire race. It was a length to Billy Joel in third and Winter Solstice fourth, but they never threatened for better. Post-time favorite Iron Nation takes fifth, ahead of Neds Influence, Dons Woman, and Stallsome.

About The Winner- Last Way To The Beac, trained by Maxmillion Farm and ridden to victory by J R Velazquez, is a four year old gelding by Britslastbutnotleast and out of One Way To The Beach. He was bred in the great breeding state of Pennsylvania by Lemax Farms and acquired by Maxmillion Farm in January 2021 for $275.000 in private sales. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fifth in 16 starts, his third stake win, and second graded win. His career earnings are now $977.080.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Last Way To The Beac Maxmillion Farm Velazquez J R 23.30   11 1:58.09 — 
  Never Met Me Mb Stables Espinoza V 7.75   23/4 1:58.43 — 
  Billy Joel La Canada Racehorses Cedillo A 7.35   3hd 1:58.60 — 
  Winter Solstice John Henry Rispoli U 26.70   41 1:58.64 — 
  Iron Nation Nakamura Stables Gonzalez Ru 0.80   52 1:58.94 — 
  Neds Influence The Sidley Stud Chirinos R 4.00   61/2 1:59.50 — 
  Dons Woman Nolespan Racing Prat F 10.50   72 1:59.63 — 
  Stallsome Ace Racing Stable Maldonado E 39.60   8 2:00.21 — 

Track: Firm

Time: :472  1:103  1:34   1:58

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Last Way To The Beac 48.60 23.00 23.00
5 – Never Met Me   10.00 7.30
3 – Billy Joel     6.40

$1 Exacta: 1 – 5 Paid 162.30

$1 Trifecta: 1 – 5 – 3 Paid 303.20

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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