Alms Scores Easily in Jimmy Durante Stakes
Alms © Benoit Photo
Godolphin’s Alms, a solidly-backed second choice at 5-2, made it three-for-three in her brief career with a convincing triumph in the Grade III $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes for two-year-old fillies Saturday.
Alms, piloted by Paco Lopez, wore down the 24-1 pacesetting longshot Laura’s Light in the upper stretch and drew off to win by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:36.01 over a grass course labeled “good” after recent rains.
Laura’s Light, with Abel Cedillo in the saddle, held on gamely to be second, a half-length in front of Princesa Caroline, the 4-5 favorite in the field of 11 fillies. Croughavouke was fourth. Withdrawn from the line-up were Lookintogeteven, Awesome Ella and Almost a Factor.
Alms, a daughter of City Zip based on the East Coast with trainer Michael Stidham, was a debut winner at Belmont Park in September and then won the Grade III Matron in early October.
Earning first money of $60,000 to increase her bankroll to $$183,750, Alms paid $7.40, $4.80 and $3. Runner-up Laura’s Light returned $21 and $8.20, while Princesa Caroline paid $2.20 to show.
PACO LOPEZ (Alms, winner) – “I had a perfect trip. Michael (Stidham, trainer) told me to get a spot behind the speed and it worked out. She came away from there well and we got a good spot. The course was good. I’d heard about all the rain here, but the course was very good. Not soft; just right. When I asked her she gave me a big kick.”
ABEL CEDILLO (Laura’s Light, second) – “She ran really well. She handled the surface well and did good. She ran a very good race.”
JAVIER CASTELLANO (Princessa Caroline, third) – “It all went great for us. We were in a good spot and she handled the course and everything else very well. She just didn’t bring her big punch with her today.”
JAMES BARDEAN, assistant to trainer Mike Stidham, (Alms, winner) – “She shipped in very well and seems to like it here. We had her sister and we’ve had high hopes for her all along.”
FRACTIONS: :22.74 :48.08 1:12.72 1:24.35 1:36.01
The stakes victory was the first of the meet and first in the Jimmy Durante for rider Lopez. This is also his first stakes victory ever at Del Mar.
The stakes win was the first of the meet, but second (Elsa, 2018) in the Jimmy Durante for trainer Stidham. He now has four stakes wins at Del Mar.
The winning owner is Godolphin, which is the racing arm of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.