From The Blood-Horse: Paris Lights Captures Distaff in 4-Year-Old Debut

Photo: Coglianese Photos/The Blood-Horse

By Blood-Horse Staff

WinStar Stablemates Racing’s Paris Lights capped her sophomore campaign with a graded stakes score and made her anticipated 4-year-old bow with similar success, running down Portal Creek in the final jumps to capture the April 2 $150,000 Distaff Handicap (G3) by a half-length at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Paris Lights was last in action nearly nine months prior, when she tracked in second position before edging Crystal Ball by a head to win the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) in July at Saratoga Race Course.

Off the respite, Paris Lights utilized a similar trip in the Distaff, breaking sharp from post 4 under jockey Junior Alvarado and sitting in second position behind pacesetter Portal Creek, who led the compact five-horse field through the opening quarter-mile in :24.04 seconds and the half in :48.28 on the fast main track.

Kendrick Carmouche kept Portal Creek to the inside out of the turn, with Paris Lights tenaciously attempting to overtake her from the outside. The duo linked up in the stretch, with Portal Creek initially repelling her rival’s initial charge before Paris Lights regained command in the final sixteenth, hitting the wire in 1:26.99 for the seven furlongs.

Honor Way was another neck back in third. Kansas Kis and Lady Kate completed the order of finish.

The trainee of Hall of Famer Bill Mott won for the fourth time in five career starts and fourth straight following a third-place debut effort in April 2020 at Gulfstream Park.

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From the Daily Racing Form: Distaff Handicap a starting point for Paris Lights

Paris Lights Photo: Chelsea Durand

By David Grening, Daily Racing Form

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Though seven furlongs may not be her preferred distance, Paris Lights seems to have found a good spot to return from a 258-day layoff in Friday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct.

Paris Lights, a daughter of Curlin trained by Bill Mott for WinStar Stablemates Racing, won three consecutive two-turn races last year after finishing third in a seven-furlong maiden race at Gulfstream in April. Paris Lights has not run since she won the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga last July 18. She developed a splint bone injury in a hind leg training toward the Alabama, and was given the remainder of the year off.

While the Distaff wasn’t originally on the docket for Paris Lights, Mott said the timing of it is better than something like the Doubledogdare at Keeneland on April 16, considering he’s hoping to get her to the Grade 1 La Troienne at Churchill on April 30.

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Paris Lights Wins CCA Oaks Stretch Duel

As seen in the TDN…

Paris Lights | Susie Raisher

Paris Lights (Curlin), an impressive winner of two straight at Churchill Downs, made her stakes debut a winning one with a ultra-game decision in Saturday’s GI Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga.

The 2-1 chance pressed runaway Bob Baffert-trained Santa Anita maiden winner Crystal Ball (Malibu Moon) from second through fractions of :24.43 and :47.82, and turned up the pressure as they hit the quarter pole.

Paris Lights and Crystal Ball, both owned by WinStar Stablemates Racing, turned for home on even terms, and after a dramatic stretch duel, it was the former who got there by a head.

It was another 4 3/4 lengths back to Antoinette (Hard Spun) in third. Favored Tonalist’s Shape (Tonalist) was checked hard on the clubhouse turn, and after getting rank early, never factored in fourth.

A debut third sprinting in the Gulfstream slop Apr. 26, Paris Lights romped by 6 3/4 lengths while making her two-turn debut in Louisville May 31, then impressively added a first-level allowance there June 27.

After losing a pulsating stretch duel in this race with Elate at the hands of Baffert and Abel Tasman three years ago, it was Hall of Famer Bill Mott who came out on top this time.

“They both fought hard,” Mott said. “Our filly was the best one today and I was very proud of her. She’s won her last three. She didn’t draw away by 10 [lengths], so you’re not going to call her Ruffian just yet, but I’d say she’s a pretty accomplished filly for the lack of seasoning. She’s gained our confidence that she has some grit and she has some quality.”

As for Paris Lights returning in the GI Alabama S. Aug. 15, Mott said, “I don’t see any reason we wouldn’t make that her potential goal. We’ve been lucky enough to win it a couple of times and naturally, I’d like to try it again.”

Saturday, Saratoga Racecourse
COACHING CLUB AMERICAN OAKS-GI, $339,500, Saratoga, 7-18, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m, 1:50.81, ft.
1–PARIS LIGHTS, 121, f, 3, by Curlin
                1st Dam: Paris Bikini, by Bernardini
                2nd Dam: Lacadena, by Fasliyev
                3rd Dam: Butterfly Blue (Ire), by Sadler’s Wells
WIN. ($200,000 RNA Ylg ’18 KEESEP). O-WinStar Stablemates
Racing LLC; B-WinStar Farm, LLC (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Tyler
Gaffalione. $192,500. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-1, $287,912.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick
   Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*.
2–Crystal Ball, 121, f, 3, by Malibu Moon
                1st Dam: Deja Vu, by Giant’s Causeway
                2nd Dam: Sassy Pants, by Saratoga Six
                3rd Dam: Special Portion, by Czaravich
($335,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $750,000 2yo ’19 FTFMAR).
O-WinStar Stablemates Racing LLC; B-Peter E. Blum
Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $70,000.
3–Antoinette, 121, f, 3, by Hard Spun
                1st Dam: Shuruq, by Elusive Quality
                2nd Dam: Miss Lucifer (Fr), by Noverre
                3rd Dam: Devil’s Imp (Ire), by Cadeaux Genereux (GB)
O-Godolphin, LLC; B-Godolphin (KY); T-William I. Mott.
Margins: HD, 4 3/4, 7. Odds: 2.00, 4.30, 5.00.
Also Ran: Tonalist’s Shape, Velvet Crush. Scratched: Altaf.

Pedigree Notes:
Curlin made it two graded winners on Saturday when Paris Lights captured the GI Coaching Club American Oaks approximately 90 minutes after Global Campaign added the GIII Monmouth Cup S. to his tally. Paris Lights and Global Campaign are bred similarly as Paris Lights is out of a Bernardini mare and Global Campaign is out of an A.P. Indy mare (A.P. Indy is, of course, Bernardini’s sire). With champions Vino Rosso, Good Magic, Stellar Wind, and 29 other graded winners to his credit, plus 67 black-type winners, Hill ‘n’ Dale’s Curlin is frequently among the leading sires. Paris Lights is the third of his daughters to make a splash in the Coaching Club American Oaks, with Curalina taking the race in 2015 and Point of Honor finishing second last year. Like Paris Lights, Point of Honor is also out of a Bernardini mare, making it 38 stakes winners out of his daughters. Paris Lights is the first foal out of her dam, who also has the unplaced 2-year-old colt Cousteau (Into Mischief), a yearling filly by Distorted Humor, and a colt born this year by Always Dreaming. She hails from the exquisite extended family of blue hen Blush With Pride (Blushing Groom {Fr}), who is her fourth dam.