Twenty-seven years after his greatest moment, trainer Cam Gambolati is still adding milestones to his career.
Gambolati, best known for training 1985 Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck, earned his first win at Keeneland Friday when Madame Giry rallied in the stretch to take the $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes by 21/2 lengths over Bounding Bi.
Gambolati purchased Madame Giry for owner Thomas Tierney for $2,000. Since breaking her maiden on the fifth try, the 3-year-old daughter of Castledale has become a classic rags-to-riches tale in winning five consecutive races including two stakes.
"She was out in a field in Maryland, and the guy (her previous owner), unfortunately, was on financial bad times," Gambolati said of her bargain price. "These kind of races are hard to find. A couple of people tried to talk me into running in the (Grade II Lexus) Raven Run (on October 19), which I think she would handle. But you know what, you win four in a row on the turf and it's hard to change. We proved it today."
Favored Inspired took the lead out of the gate and opened a clear advantage over Bounding Bi with Madame Giry tracking the leaders from midpack. On the far turn, Bounding Bi went after Inspired while jockey Eddie Castro angled Madame Giry to the four path for clear sailing.
Madame Giry covered the 51/2 furlong distance over a firm turf course in 1:03.12.