The victory was the fifth straight for Madame Giry, all under jockey Eddie Castro, and gave trainer Cam Gambolati his first victory at Keeneland. Madame Giry covered the 5 ½ furlongs on a firm turf course in 1:03.12.
Bounding Bi opened a clear advantage at the head of the stretch but could not hold off the winner. Sensible Lady rallied to finish third, a length in back of Bounding Bi and a nose ahead of Maple Forest.
The victory was worth $60,000 and increased Madame Giry’s earnings to $266,280 with a record of 9-5-1-0. Madame Giry is a 3-year-old Maryland-bred daughter of Castledale (IRE) out of the First Trump (GB) mare Ballet Partner (GB).
Sent off as the second choice in the field of 10, Madame Giry returned $7.60, $4.80 and $3.60. Bounding Bi, ridden by James Graham, returned $9.60 and $5 with Sensible Lady, under Xavier Perez, paying $3.20 to show.
Maple Forest was fourth, and was followed in order by You Need Me, Formal Plan, Inspired, Yournotthebossofme, Georgie’s Angel and Speedacious.
The 29th running of the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles on the turf headlines Saturday’s 10-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. (ET). The QE II will go as the day’s ninth race with a 5:21 p.m. post time.
Cam Gambolati (winning trainer of Madame Giry)
On scoring his first victory at Keeneland
“I don’t think I’ve run (but) five or six times here. It (the race) just fit in. These kind of races are hard to find. The timing was good. A couple of people tried to talk me into running in the (Grade 2 Lexus) Raven Run (a 1 1/16-mile race on turf on October 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.”
On the purchase of Madame Giry, who races for Thomas Tierney’s Nutmeg Stable
“She was out in a field in Maryland, and the guy (her previous owner), unfortunately, was on financial bad times. We bought her for $2,000.”
Eddie Castro (winning rider)
“I broke well and stayed behind the speed. 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. She’s a really nice filly.”
James Graham (jockey of runner-up Bounding Bi)
“She was very willing and tried hard all the way. At the top of the stretch when I pulled the trigger, I just told her to stay the way you are.”
Xavier Perez (jockey of third-place finisher Sensible Lady)
“I had a good trip; no trouble at all. There was a lot of pace in the race and I thought we would be closer early, but she was having trouble getting hold of the ground