Claiborne sires WAR FRONT and FIRST SAMURAI were represented by stakes winners on the opening day of the lucrative Kentucky Downs summer meet.
Flavius (by WAR FRONT) earned his first stakes victory in the U.S., and the first Kentucky Downs stakes victory for trainer Chad Brown. Going off the second choice in the $750,000 Tourist Stakes, the son of WAR FRONT took to the unique Kentucky Downs European-style turf course. Coming into the long stretch in seventh, Flavius quickly found the front and held onto his advantage down to the wire. He completed the mile in 1:32.21, defeating last year’s victor Snapper Sinclair. This was the fastest mile ever recorded at the downs, but Kentucky Downs is not calling them course records at the moment. The track is testing Equibase’s Gmax tracking and timing system that utilizes GPS technology. That system is establishing a more consistent starting point.
Now with over half a million in earnings, the Juddmonte homebred Flavius is out of the Dynaformer mare, Starformer. She herself was a Juddmonte homebred who went on to win four graded stakes in her career.
The second Claiborne-sired stakes victory went to Plum Ali, an undefeated juvenile by FIRST SAMURAI. The filly was the betting favorite, and deservedly so. She she made easy work of the field of eleven to win by open lengths for trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Tyler Gaffalione. A maiden special weight winner last out on debut at Saratoga, the 2-year-old increased her earnings to over $330,000.
Bred by Arthur Hancock III’s Stone Farm, Plum Ali is out of the Stroll mare Skipping. She was purchased at last year’s Keeneland September sale by Cromwell Bloodstock. The filly currently races for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and Madaket Stables.