With a dozen racing days remaining, the race for second in the Saratoga Race Course trainers’ standings looks like it could be fun as seven trainers were within three victories of each other while at least 10 back of leader Chad Brown through Saturday. With 10 wins, Christophe Clement has already more than doubled his total from the past two seasons and could be in line for more with a strong hand on Saratoga Showcase Day Aug. 23 and some others still to race. (Originally published in Aug. 18 issue of The Saratoga Special)
“We have the same numbers, we just have a larger group of 2-year-olds and less older horses than we’ve had,” he said of his stable. “A larger group of 2-year-olds is fun because it gives you more horses to run and some excitement in the barn.”
Clement and his son/assistant Miguel oversee the usual string in parts of two barns on the Oklahoma side near Bill Mott, Shug McGaughey and Graham Motion.
“It’s a great luxury,” Clement said of working with his son, who came on board full-time last year after getting a degree from Duke University, briefly working in banking and going through the Godolphin Flying Start program. “We always did everything we could to push him away from horses and that’s the way it is. It’s what he likes. It’s fun, he brings something new because he’s been away for four or five years. It’s very good.”
Clement ran through his horse list with The Special’s Joe Clancy late Friday morning.
Feel Glorious: English-bred 3-year-old filly races for Dean Reeves and Tango Uniform Racing. Four American starts include two wins and a Grade 3 placing. Daughter of Bated Breath finished sixth in Saturday’s Lake Placid. “We gave her a bit of a break and she came back in the Grade 2. It’s an ambitious spot, but the filly is doing well. Everything is already a bonus for her because she was very reasonably purchased and becoming a stakes winner was a big deal.”
Listentoyourheart: Merrylegs Farm homebred 2-year-old colt by Afleet Alex won his debut at Belmont and finished second in the Rick Violette here July 17, a nose behind Sky Of Hook. “He was on the lead the whole way and just caught in a very good effort. He will run in the 2-year-old stakes next Friday (the Funny Cide on Showcase Day).
City Man: Another for the Funny Cide, Mucho Macho Man colt is a Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale graduate and won his debut here July 18. Friday, he was resting up – flat out in the straw and sound asleep. “He and Listentoyourheart have trained together. There’s not much between the two of them in the morning and they both deserve a shot. Manny Franco will ride Listentoyourheart, Rosario is City Man. I am excited to see them run.”
Therapist: Bred by Oak Bluff Stable and Clement, 4-year-old New York-bred sold at Fasig-Tipton’s New York-bred sale as a yearling – when Oak Bluff became the sole owner – and has run up $459,490 in earnings from seven wins and three thirds in 13 starts. Son of Freud aims for the West Point next week. “He’s a solid horse. He’s not a big horse in the summer, he doesn’t like the heat much. I just hope it does not get too warm next week.”
Munchkin Money: Six-year-old Freud mare, a graduate of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic winter mixed sale, will make you want to go to Dunkin’ Donuts thanks to seven wins and a $360,715 bankroll. Won her only start for Clement in a Belmont Park three-other-than June 23, after coming over via private purchase from the Brian Lynch barn. Heads for the Yaddo, as part of a busy Friday for the barn. “She’s trained very forwardly and I’m excited to see her run.”
Wegetsdamunnys: Four-year-old New York-bred daughter of D’Funnybone won three times for Jeremiah Englehart before joining the Clement barn this year. She won a state-bred allowance-optional here Opening Day and is also aiming for the Yaddo. “Same story as Munchkin Money, training very forwardly and will get a chance in the stakes.”
Jewel Of Arabia: Two-year-old New York-bred filly opened her career with a third in the Stillwater Stakes here July 18 and is entered in a maiden race Wednesday. Clement may opt for another stakes try. “I’ve got to decide if I’m going to run in the maiden Wednesday or the stakes Friday. I will let the owner (Sumaya U.S. Stable) tell me. She’s training very well, too. We’ve got black type already, so it’s out of the way.”
Doups Point: Three-year-old Point Of Entry colt sold at Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale here in 2017 and has won once and finished second five times in eight starts. Third as the favorite here July 12, he will try New York-bred stakes company in the Albany Friday. “He’s slowly improving and he stays. Friday is going to be an interesting day for the barn. I’ve never had so many New York-breds before. We are based in New York, it makes sense.”
True Grace: Two-year-old New York-bred Competitive Edge colt for Bert and Diana Firestone has worked six times, two from the gate, here since July 4 and is getting close to a debut. “He is training forwardly and will probably run in the next week or 10 days.”
Onward: Another 2-year-old, the Street Sense colt belong to the Marchmont Syndicate and has been a regular on the Saratoga work tab since June. “He is a 2-year-old I like. Maybe he will run on Travers Day. He is training well.”
Decorated Invader: Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, William Freeman and William Sanbrook, 2-year-old won here going 1 1/16 miles Aug. 10 after finishing second in his debut (also here) July 13. Friday, he was surveying the action on the training track and trying to steal a notebook between bites of hay. “He was very impressive. The question mark is where does he go next. We like him. We can be ambitious. It was very professional and he won going away like good horses do. We could wheel him right back in the With Anticipation (Aug. 28) which is probably a bit too quick. You could aim him for the Summer Stakes (at Woodbine) or the Pilgrim (at Belmont Park) and if he’s good enough you go for the big one (the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf) after that.”
Disco Partner and Pure Sensation: Make them a team. Still going at ages 7 and 8, respectively, the turf sprinters have combined to win 24 races and earn $3,267,110 for owners/breeders Patricia and Frank Generazio. They were second and third in the Troy Stakes here Aug. 3 and will probably go their separate ways next time – Disco Partner to the Lucky Coin here Aug. 30 and Pure Sensation to Parx for the Turf Monster (a race he’s won three times) Sept. 2. “They are fun because they last and you just have to be careful. When you look after them, they look after us. It’s wonderful. Mr. and Mrs. Generazio have been great owners who give us great support. They are fun people to train for. You would take one horse like that, we are lucky to have two.”
Fly Fly Away: Two-year-old half-brother to Disco Partner won here Aug. 9 after finishing fifth in his debut July 18. The New York-bred should be back in an allowance or a stakes next month. “That horse is nice. He’s very different, much taller, much bigger and stronger than his brother.”
Malthael: Green Lantern Stable homebred seeks his first win after two seconds and two thirds in eight starts. Three-year-old Noble Mission gelding could get another chance here. “He was very unlucky at Belmont (in July) and pretty unlucky here too when he was beaten 3 1/2 lengths with nowhere to run. It happens on the grass, nobody to blame. You need a bit of racing luck on the grass.”
Tomato Bill: For the record, Christophe says “to-mah-toe” and Miguel says “to-may-toe.” Two-year-old More Than Ready colt, a $500,000 buy at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga last year, won his debut at Delaware Park in May and was second in the Sanford here July 13. “I was supposed to run him last Saturday (in the Saratoga Special) but he got sick on me two weeks ago so we passed on that and I might train him for the Hopeful going seven-eighths. It’s a bit ambitious, but he won nicely and deserves to try.”
Hotsy Totsy: Irish-bred 3-year-old filly has run four times in England (two wins and two seconds), but has yet to run for Clement. She’s worked three times on the Oklahoma turf, including 5 furlongs in 1:01.55 Friday. “She is pointing for the Riskaverse (Thursday).”
Tenure: Firestone homebred by Uncle Mo finished second here July 28, and will be looking for a starter allowance spot soon. “He is coming back up to a race, and should be very live.”
Candy Store: Speedway Stable Irish-bred has won eight races, seven in Italy that include the Group 3 Premio Elena E. Sergio Cumani at Milan. Five-year-old mare is looking for a spot to make her 2019 debut. “I like her, she won here last year (over graded stakes winner Rymska) and is ready to run back.”
White Flag: Shell Evans homebred son of War Front owns five wins but hasn’t raced since June. September’s Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint, where he was second last year, is the goal.
Stretchthestory: New York-bred 2-year-old filly has worked seven times at Belmont and Saratoga since June and, like plenty of others in the barn, is closing in on a race. “We’ll enter in a New York-bred maiden special weight on the turf in the next week or 10 days. I like her.”
Smack: Evans homebred 3-year-old daughter of Super Saver has been third twice – once last year at Belmont and in January at Gulfstream Park. She’s worked five times on the Oklahoma and should run soon.