FRANKLIN, KY – Trainer Christophe Clement’s Plum Ali overcame a troubled start to win Monday’s $500,000 Mint Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Kentucky Downs.
Plum Ali hit the gate as she broke from post 6 under Tyler Gaffalione as the 6/5 favorite and raced well off the early pace, but she drove four-wide past the leaders in the stretch and cleared off. She completed the firm turf mile in 1:35.74, crossing 2 3/4 lengths ahead of a three-way photo for second.
“Christophe gave me a call this morning and said he put me on one of his best ones,” Gaffalione said. “She was supposed to run at Saratoga, but with all the rain, he figured this was an easier spot for her. Great job by them. She came over ready to run today. Boy, what an incredible filly.”
A pair of necks separated Flown, Oliviaofthedesert, and Cecile’s Chapter. Behind them came Beautiful Star, Dream Quist, Yogurt, Sunshine City, Stephanies Jewel, Long Monday, and Maci’s Jamming to complete the order of finish.
Ava’s Grace, Blissful Change, and Royal Approval (Also Eligible) were scratched.
Plum Ali’s win was her second from as many starts, having broken her maiden on debut at Saratoga. The First Samurai filly has now earned $331,000 for co-owners Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, and Bethlehem Stables.
“She has been special since Day One,” said assistant trainer Roger Horgan. “We never cranked on her before her first start because she was going to run long. This was actually an audible. She was going to run in the With Anticipation at Saratoga, but it got rained off the turf, so we came here for five times the money.”
Plum Ali returned $4.40 to win, $3 to place, and $2.80 to show. Flown brought back $7 to place and $5.80 to show, while Oliviaofthedesert paid $6.20 to show.