Light In Paris stalked the pacesetters and moved aggressively from the inside in the stretch to win the third running of the $100,000 Plenty Of Grace for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and up on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Owned by Martin Schwartz, the Irish-bred Light In Paris stayed off the pace set by 34-1 longshot Bishop's Pond, who went a quarter-mile in 21.99 seconds and the half in 47.58.
Jockey Manny Franco angled Light In Paris to the inside near the eighth pole and overtook Bishop's Pond before surging to a 2 ¾-length win. The Chad Brown trainee completed the mile turf course in 1:36.10 for her first career stakes victory.
"I got lucky. I went low and the space opened," Franco said. "I had a lot of horse and she was there for me. Sometimes it [a hole] closes, but when you have the horse, you go for it."
Off at 7-2, Light In Paris, who made her first nine starts in France before coming to the United States, paid $9 on a $2 win bet in her Aqueduct debut. The 5-year-old bay mare increased her career earnings to $235,699.
After a runner-up performance in the Grade 3 Lambholm South Endeavour at 1 1/16 miles on February 11 and a sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Hillsborough on March 11 at Tampa Bay Downs, Light In Paris cut back to the Plenty Of Grace distance, where she is now 3-0-2 in seven starts.
"She shipped up from Palm Meadows in great shape," said Whit Beckman, assistant to Brown. "We just wanted her to get a good trip and Manny gave her the perfect ride. She was tucked in nicely against the rail, patient and when a seam opened up he hit it and she showed a great turn of foot today."
Bishop's Pond, the longest shot on the board in the seven-horse field, held on for second by a neck in the 5-year-old Curlin bay mare's first stakes start. Trained by Jason Servis, she paid $21.60 to place.
My Sweet Girl, Bar of Gold, My Impression, Mizz Money and Rattataptap completed the order of finish.
Source: NYRA (Brian Bohl)