09/05/2016 3:29PM

Pleuven takes Guilliams on final day of meet


Pleuven edged clear in the final 100 yards under confident handling from Channing Hill while prevailing as an odds-on favorite Monday in the ninth running of the $50,000 Cliff Guilliams Memorial, the annual closing-day feature at Ellis Park in western Kentucky.

Pleuven raced just off the flank of front-running Flashlight for much of the 1 1/16-mile turf race before finally proving best by a length for his second stakes victory this year. Flashlight held second over One Touch, while Financial Modeling, the 8-5 second choice, faded to finish last of five.

Owned by Nelson McMakin and based at Keeneland with trainer Phil Sims, Pleuven returned $3.60 after finishing in 1:45.40 over a firm course.

“We liked him a whole lot today,” Sims said. “He’s had some difficult trips his last couple of races, but today he had clear sailing all the way. He’s a small horse but has tons of heart. He runs over any kind of turf course.”

Pleuven, a French-bred 5-year-old gelding, won the Grade 2 Wise Dan in June at Churchill Downs and might well have earned a berth in the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile on Oct. 8 over his home course, Sims said.

The $2 exacta (7-5) paid $28.20 and the $1 trifecta (7-5-1) returned $35.90.

The Guilliams was the highlight of the 30th and final card this summer at Ellis. Action on the Kentucky circuit resumes Thursday with the second of five September cards at Kentucky Downs. An 11-day meet at Churchill Downs starts Sept. 16.

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