Kingsbarns Wins Off the Bench at Gulfstream


Photo: Coglianese Photos
Kingsbarns wins an allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park

Spendthrift Farm's Kingsbarns  returned from an 8 1/2-month layoff to score in a second-level allowance optional claiming race March 2 at Gulfstream Park.

Sent to post as the 3-5 favorite in a field of eight older horses, Kingsbarns hung back in sixth under jockey Luis Saez for most of the seven-furlong journey. Chilean group 2 winner Vivir Con Alegria , left to his own devices through early splits of :22.41 and :44.52, scampered to a two-length advantage at the top of the lane while Kingsbarns was angled three-wide for a clear run.

Kingsbarns ate away at Vivir Con Alegria's lead and pushed past the pacesetter in the final strides for a hard-fought half-length victory. The 4-year-old Uncle Mo   colt stopped the clock in a final time of 1:22.47 on a fast main track.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Kingsbarns paid $3.20 for his first race since a narrow second-place finish in the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park last June.

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Kingsbarns captured the first three starts of his career, including a front-running win in the 2023 Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. That 3 1/2-length triumph earned him a ticket to the Kentucky Derby (G1), where after holding second position through the first mile, the colt faded to finish 14th in the Run for the Roses.