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Kingsbarns Makes Statement in Ben Ali

Last year's Louisiana Derby (G2) winner adds a Ben Ali (G3) victory to his résumé.

Kingsbarns wins the Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland

Kingsbarns wins the Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland

Mathea Kelley

Kingsbarns made a statement April 20 that he could be a force this year in the older dirt horse division with a 3 1/4-length victory in the $300,000 Ben Ali Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. The 4-year-old son of Uncle Mo  is 2-for-2 in 2024 after taking an allowance optional claiming race a month ago at Gulfstream Park.

In Saturday's Ben Ali, he rated in fourth and rallied to overtake initial leader Laughing Boy and War Campaign, who grabbed the lead in early stretch and held on for second. 

Archie the Giza rallied to take show honors. Laughing Boy tired to eighth.

Kingsbarns, owned by Spendthrift Farm and trained by three-time Ben Ali winner Todd Pletcher, won last year's Louisiana Derby (G2) before finishing 14th in the Kentucky Derby (G1). His final start at age 3 was a runner-up finish in the June 17 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park, after which his connections regrouped for a 4-year-old campaign.

"This is a credit to Todd's management and the fact that Eric Gustavson (owner and president of Spendthrift Farm) made the decision to give him the time (off) that he needed," said Ned Toffey, general manager of Spendthrift Farm. 

Kingsbarns closed from behind splits of :24.07, :48.57, 1:13.66, and 1:38.26 in the 1 3/16-mile contest en route to hitting the wire in 1:57.74 over fast track. He paid $5.36 to win.

He now has five wins in seven starts with a bankroll of $907,800.