Alms Remains Unbeaten in Shantel Lanerie Stakes Stroll

Sent off as the 1-5 favorite against five sophomore filly rivals in the $58,200 Shantel Lanerie Memorial Overnight Stakes, Godolphin’s homebred Alms did not disappoint her many backers, proving much the best in the one-mile grass race over a course rated good.

Off alertly, the daughter of City Zip sat comfortably behind early leaders for the 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.

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After a win on debut at Belmont Park in September, Alms ($2.60) made her next two starts in graded stakes competition, winning both the Matron Stakes (G3) at Belmont in October, and the Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3) at Del Mar in November. The Shantel Lanerie Memorial marked four straight wins in as many starts 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 told me to try to slow her down early and make one run at the end. She jumped a little at the sixteenth 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 3-year-old campaign. The Florida Oaks (G3T, at Tampa Bay Downs) comes up about a month after (on 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.”

A Kentucky-bred, Alms is out of Charity Belle, an Empire Maker mare who won a group 3 in France and also produced multiple stakes winner Hallie Belle, by Medaglia d’Oro .