First Samurai Filly Remains Unbeaten in Miss Grillo


Plum Ali | Chelsea Durand

Plum Ali remained undefeated and picked up her second straight stakes win with a convincing score in Sunday's GII Miss Grillo S. on the Belmont turf.

Unveiled going two turns over the Saratoga lawn July 23, the $65,000 Keeneland September buy rallied to a two-length success. Shipped south to Kentucky Downs for the Mint Juvenile Fillies S. Sept. 7, the chestnut overcame a troubled start and uncorked a powerful late run to score going away by 2 3/4 lengths.

Hammered down late to even-money favoritism, Plum Ali traveled last of a tightly-packed quintet as second choice Caldee went clear through an easy :24.81 quarter. Steadily creeping forward at the hedge down the backstretch, she moved into third passing a :48.06 half and set upon the frontrunner from the two path five-sixteenths out. Poking her head in front soon after straightening for home, she started to get away from that rival entering the final furlong and hit the wire as a comfortable winner. Caldee dug in to win a tight photo for the place over Editor At Large.

“She's a very nice filly. She's won in different scenarios, different tracks and different jockeys,” said winning trainer Christophe Clement. “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. 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.”

“Christophe always said to me she was the nicest 2-year-old turf filly in the barn,” added winning co-owner Michael 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.”

Pedigree Notes:

Already one of 28 stakes winners for MGISW juvenile First Samurai, Plum Ali becomes his 17th graded stakes winner with the victory. She is the second foal to race out of a half to turf GSW Meribel (Peaks and Valleys). Skipping has a yearling Lemon Drop Kid filly and dropped a full-sister to the victress this term before visiting Mastery.

Sunday, Belmont Park
MISS GRILLO S.-GII, $145,500, Belmont, 10-4, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 1:42.03, fm.
1–PLUM ALI, 122, f, 2, by First Samurai
                1st Dam: Skipping, by Stroll
                2nd Dam: Count to Six, by Saratoga Six
                3rd Dam: Countess Aura, by Halo
   1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($65,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP).
O-Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables LLC & Bethlehem Stables
LLC; B-Stone Farm (KY); T-Christophe Clement; J-Jose L. Ortiz.
$82,500. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, $413,500. Werk Nick
   Rating: A++. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Caldee, 120, f, 2, More Than Ready–Holiday's Jewel, by
Harlan's Holiday. O/B-Shortleaf Stable (KY); T-Brad H. Cox.
3–Editor At Large (Ire), 120, f, 2, Lope de Vega (Ire)–What Say
You (Ire), by Galileo (Ire). (160,000gns Wlg '18 TATFOA;
260,000gns Ylg '19 TATOCT). O-Peter M. Brant; B-R J B
Bloodstock & Lynch Bages Ltd (IRE); T-Chad C. Brown. $18,000.
Margins: 2 1/4, NO, 15HF. Odds: 1.15, 1.80, 4.10.
Also Ran: Mashnee Girl, Director's Cut. Scratched: Batyah, Fifth Risk, Freedomofthepress, Lovestruck. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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