Tom Albertrani and Jimmy Bell stood together in the winner’s circle. The sun had set and the shadow of the grandstand and the clouds overhead blanketed the scene as light from the infield boards cast a red and white glow over the turf course. Lady Montdore had just carried her speed 11 furlongs in the Grade 2 Glens Falls, the race ending at 7:27 p.m., just three minutes before Saturday’s official sunset time.
“We had to wait a long time for this one, all day,” Albertrani joked.
They had to wait all day, but the trainer and Godolphin USA president waited much longer. Godolphin’s international team identified Lady Montdore as a candidate for an American career in her early runs in France as a 3-year-old. The homebred filly showed an aptitude for distance, something many distaffers in the U.S. can’t handle.
“We’re obviously a global company and trying the mares here,” Bell said. “Being a Medaglia d’Oro, this is all part of Sheikh Mohammed’s breeding and it’s just kind of a part of it. They’ll bring some horses over here to run and she was a filly that liked the distance and had a few opportunities.
“There are very few fillies that really want to go a distance of ground over here, she was really worth making that move to bring her over here. We’re able to shuffle and do these kind of things. She fit these longer races over here very well, she fit Tommy’s style of training very well and she’ll be a welcome addition to the broodmare band.”
Lady Montdore arrived in the U.S. 11 months ago and came to Albertrani this May. Although the trainer initially wasn’t enamored, his appreciation grew as she trained. Albertrani expected big things by the time she made her American debut in an allowance at Saratoga Aug. 6. Lady Montdore posted a 4 1/2-length win over the 1 3/8-mile distance.
“She showed a lot of talent in her first start. I liked her going into her first race, but she impressed me more than I was expecting,” Albertrani said. “That’s why we decided to run her back in here. We thought she could get the job done.”