Madame Giry Keeps Streak Alive at Keeneland

Madame Giry  Keeps Streak Alive at Keeneland
Photo: Keeneland/Coady Photography
Madame Giry and Eddie Castro come home strong to win the Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes.

Madame Giry registered her fifth consecutive victory when she motored down the center of the Keeneland turf course to prevail by 2 1/2 lengths in the $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes Oct. 12 (VIDEO).

Eddie Castro guided the Maryland-bred Madame Giry to her second straight stakes victory for trainer Cam Gambolati. He conditions the 3-year-old daughter of 2004 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Castledale for Nutmeg Stable.

Madame Giry completed the 5 1/2-furlong test in 1:03.12 over firm going as the 5-2 second choice in the field of 10 fillies and mares.

It was the first victory at Keeneland for the veteran trainer Gambolati, winner of the 1985 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with Spend a Buck.

"I don't think I've run (but) five or six times here," he said. "It just fit in. These kind of races (sprint stakes for fillies) are hard to find. The timing was good. A couple of people tried to talk me into running in the Raven Run (gr. II at seven furlongs on Polytrack Oct. 19), which I think she would handle. But you know what, you win four in a row on the turf and it's hard to change. We proved it today."

Raintree Thoroughbred Farm bred the bay filly. Madame Giry is the first winner out of the First Trump mare Ballet Partner, a five-time winner during her career.

"She was out in a field in Maryland, and the guy (her previous owner), unfortunately, was on financial bad times," Gambolati said. "We bought her for $2,000."

Reserved early off a sizzling pace set by Inspired, Madame Giry launched her bid four wide on the turn and closed with a rush to sweep past 12-1 shot Bounding Bi just past the eighth pole. She won going away.

"I broke well and stayed behind the speed," Castro said. "I knew a couple of horses were really fast. On the straight, I was really confident in the filly. I've (now) won five in a row on her. She was much the best in the stretch."

Bounding Bi, who took the lead in the stretch from Inspired, settled for second under James Graham, one length clear of Sensible Lady and Xavier Perez.

Inspired, the slight 5-2 pick over Madame Giry, ran the opening quarter mile in an eye-catching :21.20 and the half in :44.62 before fading to seventh.

Since breaking her maiden by three lengths on the Belmont Park turf July 6, Madame Giry has been unstoppable. She won a pair of optional claiming heats at Saratoga Race Course over the summer, then made her stakes bow in the Smart N Fancy at Belmont with a 2 1/2-length victory as the favorite Sept. 12. All but her racing debut, a fourth-place finish on a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park in April, have been on turf. She has five wins and a second from nine starts overall with earnings of $266,280.

The winner carried 120 pounds and paid $7.60, $4.80, $3.60. Bounding Bi, who stalked the pacesetter from the outset off the inside before making the lead approaching mid-stretch, returned $9.60 and $5. She completed an $85.80 exacta. Sensible Lady, who threatened in the drive before evening out late, was $3.20 to show.

Maple Forest was nosed for the show spot and was followed by You Need Me, Formal Plan, Inspired, Yournotthebossofme, Georgie's Angel, and Speedacious. Classy Zip, Plus One, Taty's Gold, and Well Deserved all scratched.
 

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