Light In Paris rallies to capture Plenty Of Grace
by Brian Bohl
Light In Paris stalked the pacesetters and moved aggressively from the inside in the stretch to win the third running of the $100,000 Plenty Of Grace for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and up on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Owned by Martin Schwartz, the Irish-bred Light In Paris stayed off the pace set by 34-1 longshot Bishop's Pond, who went a quarter-mile in 21.99 seconds and the half in 47.58.
Jockey Manny Franco angled Light In Paris to the inside near the eighth pole and overtook Bishop's Pond before surging to a 2 ¾-length win. The Chad Brown trainee completed the mile turf course in 1:36.10 for her first career stakes victory.
"I got lucky. I went low and the space opened," Franco said. "I had a lot of horse and she was there for me. Sometimes it [a hole] closes, but when you have the horse, you go for it."
Off at 7-2, Light In Paris, who made her first nine starts in France before coming to the United States, paid $9 on a $2 win bet in her Aqueduct debut. The 5-year-old bay mare increased her career earnings to $235,699.
After a runner-up performance in the Grade 3 Lambholm South Endeavour at 1 1/16 miles on February 11 and a sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Hillsborough on March 11 at Tampa Bay Downs, Light In Paris cut back to the Plenty Of Grace distance, where she is now 3-0-2 in seven starts.
"She shipped up from Palm Meadows in great shape," said Whit Beckman, assistant to Brown. "We just wanted her to get a good trip and Manny gave her the perfect ride. She was tucked in nicely against the rail, patient and when a seam opened up he hit it and she showed a great turn of foot today."
Bishop's Pond, the longest shot on the board in the seven-horse field, held on for second by a neck in the 5-year-old Curlin bay mare's first stakes start. Trained by Jason Servis, she paid $21.60 to place.
My Sweet Girl, Bar of Gold, My Impression, Mizz Money and Rattataptap completed the order of finish.