Heavy Favorite Alms Delivers Fourth Straight Victory In Shantel Lanerie Memorial

Sent off as the overwhelming 1-5 favorite against five sophomore filly rivals in the $60,000 Shantel Lanerie Memorial, Godolphin LLC’s Alms did not disappoint her many backers, proving much the best in the one mile grass race over a course labeled as good.

Off alertly, the daughter of City Zip sat comfortably behind early leaders for majority of the race with jockey Paco Lopez aboard. Turning for home, Lopez asked the Mike Stidham trainee for more and Alms responded, ranging up to the first flight before powering away to win by an increasing 4 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:39.32. Dominga closed well to be second and after threatening on the turn, Pass the Plate flattened to third.

After a win on debut at Belmont Park in September, Alms would make her next two starts in graded stake competition, winning both the Matron (G3) at Belmont in October, and the Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3) at Del Mar in November. The Shantel Lanerie Memorial Stakes marked four straight wins to begin her career for Alms, who has now banked $219,750.

“She’s a really nice filly,” said Paco Lopez, who won with three of his four mounts on the card. “Mike (Stidham) told me to try to slow her down early and make one run at the end. She jumped a little at the 1/16th pole but she evened out and galloped out well, she’s a really nice horse.”

“We had this race in mind just because we love running at Fair Grounds,” Stidham said. “It was a perfect race for her to kick off her three-year-old campaign. The Florida Oaks comes up about a month after (March 7) this so it works out perfect. She’s very talented. I think the sky is the limit for her.”

“It’s an honor to win this race for such a beautiful person like Shantel,” Stidham said of Shantel Lanerie, the wife of jockey Corey Lanerie and race honoree who passed away two years ago from breast cancer complications. We love her and we miss her.”

In what was her first try against stakes competition, Don Alberto Stable’s Dominga ran on stoutly late to grab the place money for jockey Shaun Bridgmohan and trainer Brad Cox.

“I thought she ran good,” Bridgmohan said of Dominga. “The filly that beat her is obviously undefeated still so she’s a nice horse. I think the longer she goes the better she’ll get. She’s steady throughout the race and she picked up the pieces late. I think as she gets more racing and goes further, she will get better.”

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