Plum Ali Scores Gate-To-Wire Win In Winter Memories - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Plum Ali Scores Gate-To-Wire Win In Winter Memories

Plum Ali wins the Winter Memories Stakes

After winning the first three starts of her career, Plum Ali had been winless in her last seven starts until Sunday's Winter Memories. The daughter of First Samurai grabbed the lead in the early strides of the 1 1/16-mile stakes and made every pole a winning one at Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, N.Y.

Jockey Manny Franco sent Plum Ali to the lead out of the gate, a departure from her usual racing position behind horses. The 3-year-old filly set early fractions of :23.77, :49.72, and 1:15.28, a moderate pace that allowed Plum Ali to stay a half-length ahead of the field of ten others.

Into the stretch, the filly was able to stretch her lead out to two lengths, her moderate early pace ensuring she had plenty left in the tank to hold off the closers. At the wire, she was 3/4 of a length in front of the bunched trio of White Frost, Miss Dracarys, and Gam's Mission. Runaway Rumour, Invincible Gal, Bipartisanship, Flown, Out of Sorts, Quinevere, and Batyah rounded out the order of finish.

The final time for the 1 1/16 miles over good turf was 1:45.11. Find this race's chart here.

Plum Ali paid $11.20, $5.40, and $3.40. White Frost paid $4.40 and $3.60. Miss Dracarys paid $6.20.

“The idea was to be forwardly placed. She ran very well. He [Manny Franco] gave her a great ride. She's been very unlucky and the filly deserved this,” trainer Christophe Clement said after the race. “The idea was to be 1-2-3 and, if possible, on the lead. If anybody took us on, then sit second or third. Nobody took them on and when I saw the 49 and change and 1:15, I knew she was going to be pretty tough. She's a very nice horse.”

“She broke sharp and I let her do her thing. We ended up on the lead and it worked out,” Franco told the NYRA Press Office after the Winter Memories. “After we broke like that, I wasn't thinking to take back. If they wanted to take the lead, they would have to go faster than me. In the second part of the race, they let me slow down the pace and that was it. She handled it really well.

Bred in Kentucky by Stone Farm, Plum Ali is out of the Stroll mare Skipping. She is owned by Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, and Michael J. Caruso. Consigned by Stone Farm, Plum Ali was purchased by Cromwell Bloodstock for $65,000 at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Her win in the Winter Memories is her first in seven starts in 2021, for a lifetime record of four wins in 11 starts and career earnings of $676,000.

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