Plum Ali A Perfect 3-For-3 After Popular Miss Grillo Victory

Plum Ali ran her record to 3-for-3 with a come-from-behind victory on Sunday in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. Ridden by Jose Ortiz, the Christophe Clement-trained filly by First Samurai ran down front-running Caldee to win by 2 1/4 lengths.

Time for the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf was 1:42.03. Plum Ali paid $4.30 to win as the favorite of five runners contesting the Miss Grillo.

Caldee finished second, with Editor At Large getting up for third. She was followed by Mashnee Girl and Director’s Cut. There were four scratches from the original field of entries.

Owned by Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables, Plum Ali was bred in Kentucky by Stone Farm and sold for $65,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

“She’s a very nice filly,” said Clement. “She’s won in different scenarios, different tracks and different jockeys. That’s what good horses do. They face the challenge and they win. It’s very exciting. It’s nice when they keep facing these things and win. [At the top of the stretch] the [top]-three finishers were together, so nobody has any excuses.

“Just like anything else, I’ll only go to the Breeders’ Cup [Juvenile Fillies Turf] if she’s training great and doing great. I’m very happy. She’s done everything right.”

Plum Ali made a winning debut at Saratoga on July 23, taking a maiden special weight race by two lengths, then traveled to Kentucky Downs to win the Mint Juvenile Fillies Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths.

“Christophe always said to me she was the nicest 2-year-old turf filly in the barn,” said Dubb. “We knew this winter when was she on the farm that she was above average, but we didn’t know how good she was.

“She seems, with every race, to be maturing. She had more composure in the paddock today. She’s just going forward the right way and we hope we can get one more race out of her this year.”

In the Miss Grillo, Plum Ali was near the back early while saving ground as Caldee led through fractions of :24.81, :48.06 and 1:11.58 for the first six furlongs. Ortiz asked Plum Ali for run going into the far turn and was bidding for the lead by the time the field hit the top of the stretch. She opened up by one length at the furlong pole and passed the mile marker in 1:35.60 with a clear lead and held sway to the finish. Caldee held off Editor At Large by a nose for second, with 15 1/2-length margin back to Mashnee Girl in fourth.

“She’s very classy. I had the opportunity to work her twice and got to know her a little bit these past couple of week,” said Ortiz. “The first week, she worked well. The second week, she worked amazing. She gave me a lot of confidence going into the race. She had a great trip and I followed the right horse and when I was ready to make my move, I did.”

The post Plum Ali A Perfect 3-For-3 After Popular Miss Grillo Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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