May 29, 2023

Alms returns a winner in Shantel Lanerie Memorial

Alms wins the 2020 Shantel Lanerie Memorial (Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir)

Alms kicked off what could be a very productive campaign with a relatively facile victory Saturday in the $58,200 Shantel Lanerie Memorial at Fair Grounds.

The 3-year-old Godolphin homebred improved her record to 4-for-4 in the about one-mile grass test, a surface over which she proved one of the leaders of her division last season when taking the Matron (G3) and Jimmy Durante (G3) late in the year.

With Paco Lopez in from Florida to ride, Alms rated in fourth to the far turn, made a four-wide wide bid for the lead approaching the stretch, and drove home a 4 1/4-length winner over Dominga, with Pass the Plate third. The 3-10 favorite, Alms paid $2.60 completing the course in 1:39.32 on good ground.

“It was a perfect race to kick off her 3-year-old campaign,” said trainer Mike Stidham. “The Florida Oaks ([G3] at Tampa Bay Downs) comes up about a month after this, so it made sense.

“The sky’s the limit. She’s loaded with talent.”

Alms has now bankrolled $219,750. Winning a key Belmont Park maiden by 3 3/4 lengths on Sept. 19 going 6 furlongs, she wheeled back two weeks later to win the 6-furlong Matron by 1 1/4 lengths. She concluded her fine juvenile campaign with a 2 3/4-length decision in the Jimmy Durante at Del Mar going one mile.

Bred in Kentucky, Alms was produced by the Group 3-winning Charity Belle, by Empire Maker. A half-sister to Grade 3-placed stakes winner Hallie Belle, Alms counts as her third dam the multiple Grade 1-winning Banker’s Lady. This is the same female family as other notable Fair Grounds stakes winners Daisy Devine, Ecton Park, and Noble Indy.