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Ben Ali is Watershed moment for Godolphin and McLaughlin

LEXINGTON , Ky. -- Regardless of how Dickinson ran later on the card, Saturday was a big day at Keeneland for the Godolphin Racing powerhouse and Kiaran McLaughlin.

The owner-trainer team won with each of their first three starters on the card, including a 2 3/4-length triumph by Watershed in the 87th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Ben Ali, the first of four straight stakes on an 11-race program.

Watershed rallied from mid-pack to win the 1 1/8-mile Ben Ali under Paco Lopez, giving Godolphin and McLaughlin yet another winner with a homebred. The earlier winners were Tasteful ($5) in a maiden race and Zennor ($13.40) in a turf allowance.

Watershed paid $12.20 after finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.92 over a fast track.

"It's always wonderful to win here in my hometown," said McLaughlin, a Lexington native who now makes New York his primary base.

Watershed, a 5-year-old horse by Bernardini, maneuvered his way through rivals to be second at the top of the stretch, with only Bird Song to catch. He did so in quick order, surging away for his first stakes victory. In all, Watershed is 5 for 14, with the $120,000 winner's share lifting his bankroll to $402,550.

"Paco rode a great race," McLaughlin said.

Eagle was up in the final jump to nail Bird Song by a nose for second, with Blofeld another neck back in fourth. Rounding out the lineup of eight older horses, in order, were Conquest Enforcer, Scuba, Taketothestreets, and Frammento.

Dickinson, another Godolphin homebred, defeated Lady Eli and six other fillies and mares later Saturday in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley, capping a perfect 4-for-4 day for Godolphin and McLaughlin.

The $2 exacta (3-2) paid $53.40, the $1 trifecta (3-2-6) returned $93.30, and the 10-cent superfecta (3-2-6-1) was worth $49.89.