Spirit And Glory Skims Rail to Winner’s Circle in Al Stall Memorial

February 17, 2024

Spirit And Glory takes the Albert M. Stall Memorial (Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir)

Fair Grounds Press Release

NEW ORLEANS, La.— Michael Nentwig, Michael Dubb, Beast Mode Racing, John Rochfort, and Robert Falcone Jr.’s Spirit And Glory (IRE) found the rail early and never left, rallying to the lead at the 1/8th pole and outlasting the hard charge of Tryinmyheartout to win the $100,000 Al Stall Memorial at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. With the Stall-Wilson turf course rated “soft,” Spirit And Glory stopped the clock at 1:43.99, finishing 3/4 lengths ahead of the field of 10 older fillies and mare rivals.

Trained by Robert Falcone Jr. and piloted by Flavien Prat, the winner of the 2023 Miss Liberty and 2022 Virginia Oaks entered the gates fresh, having not raced since finishing a neck shy of winning the Yellow Ribbon (G2) at Del Mar on Aug. 12.

“I thought this would be a really good spot for her off the layoff,” Falcone said. “I liked the longer stretch on this turf course, like Colonial when she ran well. I say that even though the race played out today that we wished it wasn’t as long. That’s how it is in horse racing. Nothing will ever go perfectly but today things worked out well.”

Not So Close set the pace and led through the :23.15 and :48.22 opening calls. Breaking from the fifth position and immediately gliding to the rail, Spirit And Glory tracked the forward runners from the rail. Following join the Dance who made the first move to the front at the top of the stretch, Spirit And Glory cut the corner and produced a run to the front, and was able to outlast the game late effort of longshot Tryinmyheartout. Watch This Birdie was soon behind for third. The post-time favorite Creative Cairo rallied late down the center of the course for fourth.

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“She jumped out of the gate well,” Prat said. “Doing that, we were able to get into a good position. Down the lane, I kept asking her to run and she kept finding more.”

Spirit And Glory (IRE) rewarded $8.00, $4.80, and $4.00. Tryinmyheartout paid $18.20, $8.20. Watch This Birdie returned $4.00.

The now three-time stakes-winning 5-year-old mare tallies a lifetime record of 16-5-2-1 with $392,220 in the bank. 

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