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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Read the full article here.

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.

WinStar Stablemates run 1-2 in electrifying Coaching Club American Oaks (G1)

Paris Lights got the nod over Crystal Ball in Saturday’s $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks S. (G1) at Saratoga, likely earning the fillies at trip to the Sept. 4 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs.

Both 3-year-olds are owned by WinStar StableMates Racing LLC, a racing syndicate offered and managed by the farm.

Paris Lights and Crystal Ball were making their stakes debuts on Saturday, but came into the race off impressive efforts. Paris Lights had won two straight starts at Churchill Downs for trainer Bill Mott, while Bob Baffert shipped Crystal Ball cross-country after breaking her maiden by six lengths a month ago at Santa Anita.

At the break, it was Crystal Ball who got the jump and led Paris Lights by a half-length through the first six furlongs, which went in 1:11.54. Paris Lights moved alongside Crystal Ball with about three furlongs to run, and the were nearly inseparable all the way to the wire, with Paris Lights winning officially by a head in 1:50.81 for the nine furlongs on the fast main track.

“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. 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.”

Mott said that Paris Lights could make her next start in the Alabama S. (G1), Aug. 15 at Saratoga.

The winner earned 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, while Crystal Ball was awarded 40. Both are in the top 14 fillies on the list, the maximum that can start in the race.