Kingsbarns (Uncle Mo) Wins Gr 3 Ben Ali

Kingsbarns Catches Eye In G3 Ben Ali Win

Kingsbarns (4c Uncle Mo x Lady Tapit, by Tapit) stayed perfect in 2024 when the Spendthrift runner won the Grade III Ben Ali at Keeneland.

The race run over 1 3/16 miles on the dirt saw Kingsbarns run a few paths off the rail in fourth place early in the race. Far in the backstretch, he started making a serious move and challenged for the lead in the far turn.

Coming into the stretch, he entered a duel that lasted until the final furlong. Once the other horse started to fade, there was no threat to Kingsbarns. Pulling away in the final sixteenth, Kingsbarns crossed the line 3 1/4 lengths in front as the race favorite.

“I was pretty confident," said jockey Luis Saez. "He was pretty professional. He’s been a very nice horse from Day 1, when he broke his maiden at Gulfstream (Park on Jan. 14, 2023). We knew he was a special horse. We feel so grateful to be here at Keeneland and win this stakes. It’s something superior for us.

It was the fifth win in seven starts for the colt trained by Todd Pletcher, whose only finish worse than second was in the Grade I Kentucky Derby last season. It was the second graded stakes win for Kingsbarns, who also won last year’s Grade II Louisiana Derby.

Spendthrift purchased Kingsbarns for $800,0000 as a juvenile two years ago after he’d sold for $250,000 as a yearling.

The 4-year-old is one of three winners from three to race out of Grade III placed Lady Tapit, who is a half-sister to Grade I winner and stakes producer Gozzip Girl and to the dam of the Grade III winners Gallileo’s Town and Gianella.

Lady Tapit had a Munnings filly last year.

Kingsbarns is the fifth stakes winner and 10th stakes performer of the year for Uncle Mo, who saw daughter Adare Manor win the Grade I Apple Blossom last weekend as well.