Kingsbarns Gets Up And Down To Take GIII Ben Ali S. At Keeneland

Kingsbarns | Coady Photography

by J. N. Campbell

Looking strong as an oak in the GIII Ben Ali S. at Keeneland, Kingsbarns (Uncle Mo) cleared professionally down the lane to take home his second graded stakes trophy for Spendthrift's case on Saturday afternoon.

The 2023 GII Louisiana Derby winner finished 14th behind Mage (Good Magic) in the GI Kentucky Derby before completing his 3-year-old year when he was beaten only a neck as the heavy favorite in the Pegasus S. at Monmouth June 17.

After a nine-month hiatus, Kingsbarns returned to Gulfstream Park Mar. 2 for the first time since breaking his maiden early in 2023. Though he lagged in sixth for the first half of the race, the 4-year-old showed his class by motoring home in the final jumps to win by a half-length in the prep for this spot.

Tabbed as the 8-5 choice here, Kingsbarns exited the gate with what looked like a recreation of his Louisiana Derby trip, but jockey Luis Saez took him back into the first turn and the pair settled to the outside in the second flight.

Up front, it was Laughing Boy (Distorted Humor) who was attempting to run the field off their feet, but the orange and purple squared silks were instead focused on War Campaign (Declaration of War) up the backstretch.

As that 5-year-old began to gear up, Kingsbarns shadowed him into the far turn. With the pacesetter giving way, the pair locked in a duel through the eighth pole, but it was the 4-year-old colt who made the lead and put away his rival for good.

“This is a credit to (trainer) Todd (Pletcher's) management and the fact that Eric Gustavson (owner and President of Spendthrift Farm) made the decision to give him the time (off) that he needed,” said Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey. “He needed some time after his 3-year-old campaign, he got it, and he's just done so well from 3 to 4 (years old). Hopefully he's going to reward us with a big year.”

Pedigree Notes:

A $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling turned $800,000 2-year-old purchase for Spendthrift, Kingsbarns is one of his sire's 100 worldwide stakes winners and one of his 50 winners at the graded level. Kingsbarns is the fourth full stakes winner of 2024 for Uncle Mo, led by recent GI Apple Blossom H. heroine Adare Manor–one of Uncle Mo's 15 elite-level scorers–and is his sire's 11th stakes horse during the first 3 1/2 months of the season.

The colt's Grade III-placed dam, a $675,000 buyback at Keeneland September in 2013, is a half-sister to 2009 GI American Oaks winner Gozzip Girl (Dynaformer), now a group stakes producer in Japan. Lady Tapit's now 2-year-old Gun Runner colt was purchased by John Stewart for $650,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale, and the mare foaled a Munnings filly in 2023 before visiting Not This Time for this season.

Saturday, Keeneland
BEN ALI S.-GIII, $300,000, Keeneland, 4-20, 4yo/up, 1 3/16m, 1:57.74, ft.
1–KINGSBARNS, 118, c, 4, by Uncle Mo
1st Dam: Lady Tapit (GSP), by Tapit
2nd Dam: Temperence Gift, by Kingmambo
3rd Dam: Shapiro's Mistress, by Unpredictable
($250,000 Ylg '21 FTSAUG; $800,000 2yo '22 FTFMAR). O-Spendthrift Farm LLC; B-Parks Investment Group, LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Luis Saez. $176,700. Lifetime Record: 7-5-1-0, $907,800. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus* Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–War Campaign, 118, h, 5, Declaration of War–Flashy Campaign, by Political Force. O/B-Jerry Namy (KY); T-Philip A. Sims. $57,000.
3–Archie the Giza, 118, g, 5, Cairo Prince–Gloria S, by Tapit. 1ST  BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O/B-Estate Of Harvey Clarke (KY); T-Robert Medina. $28,500.
Margins: 3 1/4, 3, 1HF. Odds: 1.68, 3.80, 25.63.
Also Ran: Time for Trouble, Dynamic One, Surly Furious, Smile Happy, Laughing Boy, Happy American.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.


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