by Anthony Affrunti
Godolphin Stable's Lady Montdore led the field of seven gate to wire to win the Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls by 2 ¼ lengths under jockey Manny Franco on the inner turf Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
The 4-year-old filly by Medaglia d'Oro earned her first graded stakes victory in her second U.S. start and remains perfect through two consecutive races at Saratoga after she winning an August 6 allowance by 4 ½ lengths for trainer Tom Albertrani.
"This is a really a wonderful filly to have around the barn," Albertrani said. "She didn't look like much when she first came in [in May] - very skinny and light framed and then she got my attention as she trained. She looked very talented and I started to really like her. She just went around the track with her ears pricked and made it look easy."
Lady Montdore was sent to the lead from the break under Franco and was kept under a stout restraint as Santa Monica, Danceland and La Manta Gris followed in unison while rating and waiting. The field made their way through a slow opening-quarter mile in 27.79 seconds, and a half-mile in 54.56 remaining unchanged down the backside through the three-quarter mark in 1:21.31.
Lady Montdore was allowed to continue to have things her own way, and as the mile was passed in 1:46.45, the field continued to chase, rounding the turn into the stretch where they went to work on trying to cut into Lady Montdore's margin. Instead, she had enough left in the tank and repelled Santa Monica before the wire. Santa Monica was one length over Danceland in third.
The winning time was 2:20.78 for the1 3/8 miles on the inner turf course listed as good.
"Tom told me not to fight her," Franco said. "If she wants to go, let her go. That's what I did. I didn't get in her way and she relaxed out there by herself. From the quarter-pole to the wire she was just running like a bullet. I feel great. I've been having a great meet thanks to my agent and the owners who keep putting me on horses and it's a good feeling."
Lady Montdore entered the U.S. with five starts in France for trainer Andre Fabre, and now owns three victories from seven career starts with earnings of $233,956.
"I thought that this was a perfect opportunity to bring her back after two starts," said Albertrani. "I thought she had the talent that we could bring her back, and I'm looking big like the Breeders' Cup. That's one of the reasons we brought her back to this race. Maybe the [Grade 1, $500,000] Flower Bowl [October 7 at Belmont Park] is next. We'll see how the timing works out."
Rounding out the finish in the 23rd running of the Glens Falls was Onthemoonagain, Savannah Belle, Summersault, La Manta Gris and Homeland Security. Land Mine was scratched as a main-track only entrant.
Lady Montdore was sent off at odds of 4-1 and paid $10.40 for a $2 win wager.