Alms ‘nose’ where the wire is in One Dreamer

Godolphin’s Alms (left) and Jose Ortiz nipped Burning Ambition. Coady Photography

FRANKLIN, Ky. (Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022) — Godolphin’s 5-year-old mare Alms won for the first time in 12 races, that coming 2 1/2 years ago, wearing down front-running Burning Ambition to take the $400,000 Pepsi One Dreamer Stakes by a nose on Wednesday’s closing card of the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs.

“It’s been a long time between wins, so it was great to get that one, for sure,” said winning trainer Mike Stidham. “She’s been running in a lot of tough spots. Sometimes conditions of the turf course didn’t really suit her in a couple of those races. Last time she came flying and was short by a neck. But she’s a hard knocker, and honest filly and got the job done.”

Alms and jockey Jose Ortiz came from mid-pack to get up late for the nose victory. Burning Ambition and jockey Florent Geroux dueled with Navratilova, then Tightly Twisted for the early lead. Longshot Tightly Twisted hung on for third beaten, 3 1/2 lengths, with Petricor (GB) another three-fourths of a length back in fourth after having one horse beat early on. The winning time was 1:37.93 for the mile and 70 yards.

Curly Ruth, Justify My Love (BRZ), Navratilova, Rocking Redhead, Poca Mucha, Gogo Shoes, Ylikedis and Caroline’s Story finished in that order after the top four. Sunny One was scratched.

Alms finished the mile and 70 yards in 1:37.93, paying $7.44 to win as the favorite in the capacity field of 12.

“She really dug in,” Ortiz said. “She is a nice filly, has a lot of back class…. I was a little worried; she had never been here before. She tries to get a little strong going to the first eighth of a mile; (Stidham) said don’t let her do that. Here, going uphill the first eighth, they relax nicely. When you want to take them back, you can. She was very professional. I was in a good spot the whole race and she gave me a great kick coming home. Mike did a great job, she was ready. That other filly was coming back, but she was never going to go by me.”

A daughter of City Zip and the Empire Maker mare Charity Belle, Alms started her career with four straight wins, including Belmont Park’s Grade 3 Matron and Del Mar’s Grade 3 Jimmy Durante as a 2-year-old. The run concluded with victory in the Fair Grounds’ Shantel Lanerie Memorial Overnight Stakes to start Alms’ 3-year-old season. That was her last victory until the One Dreamer, which was restricted to fillies and mares that hadn’t won a stakes in 2022.

In her prior start, Alms was second by a neck in Colonial Downs’ $150,000 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Old Nelson Stakes. She’s now 5-3-1 in 16 career starts, earning $623,270 with the $230,640 paycheck.

The victory gave Godolphin, last year’s meet-leading owner with four wins, two wins for this meet. Both were stakes, including Adventuring taking the $550,000 AGS Ladies Marathon on Tuesday.

“We waited until the end of the meet, but it was great,” said Dan Pride, the chief operating officer for Darley America and its Godolphin racing operation. “Adventuring and Alms have been special fillies for us, both homebreds. It was great to see them both win here. Adventuring obviously loves the course; this was Alms’ first time here.”

— Jennie Rees

Alms 'nose' where the wire is in One Dreamer - The Mint Gaming Hall