Christophe Clement strolled into Barn 80 on a quiet Friday afternoon for the stable while a grey colt bucked and rolled in the round pen as other horses went quietly around the walking ring shaded by willow trees. (Originally published in the Aug. 5 issue of The Saratoga Special.)
The barn was relaxed and orderly as usual on a sunny afternoon at feed time and Clement inspected horses, gave a few greetings and directions in French and English and went about his afternoon routine at the barn on the Oklahoma Training Track.
Clement has been training since 1991 and sent out his first starter and winner here in 1992. A Saratoga staple since then, Clement won his first graded stakes at Saratoga in 1996 with Danish in the Grade 3 Saratoga Breeders’ Cup Handicap. Clement won seven races at Saratoga in 2016.
The stable comes into the meet off a strong spring highlighted with graded stakes wins by Pure Sensation, Disco Partner, Frostmourne and Celestine. Clement’s runners enjoyed a productive Belmont meet, finishing with 17 winners and fifth in the trainer standings. Clement spent a few minutes with The Special’s Madison Scott to discuss those and other members of his Saratoga and Belmont strings last week.
Pure Sensation: Patricia Generazio’s homebred millionaire 6-year-old gelding appears to be in as good of form as ever, winning the Grade 3 Parx Dash by 5 3/4 lengths last out. The hulking grey has been a fixture in turf sprints since 2015 and is pointing toward a similar campaign that saw him finish third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. “Came out of his race at Parx in good order. The idea would be the Troy first (Sunday). There’s a race called the Turf Monster in September, there’s a turf stakes in New York in October and then probably the Breeders’ Cup. That would be plan at the moment. He’s a top-class horse.”
Disco Partner: Generazio’s New York-bred 5-year-old by Disco Rico made headlines this summer, setting a world record for 6 furlongs on the grass in the Grade 3 Jaipur Invitational on the Belmont Stakes undercard in 1:05.67. He won the Forbidden Apple at Belmont at 1 mile July 15. “He is 3-for-3 in the spring meet. He won three stakes at Belmont. I’m training him most probably for the Fourstardave and then we can make a decision after that if we keep him at a mile or if we sprint him. (Pure Sensation and Disco Rico) are a product of the owner/breeder program of Mr. and Mrs. Generazio, a very successful program. At the moment the idea would be the Fourstardave, Irad Ortiz, then we go from there.” So is it exciting that he can get a mile? “Yes, very much so. It gives him another dimension.”
Frostmourne: Green Lantern Stables homebred 3-year-old by Speightstown has been worse than second only once in six lifetime starts and comes off back-to-back graded stakes wins in the Penn Mile and Kent Stakes. The striking dark bay colt won on debut here last season and is a half to Grade 1 winner Karelian. “The goal is to do the Secretariat (at Arlington Park Aug. 12). He is going to breeze twice (between races). Lovely horse, improving 3-year-old. He’s top class. He was very impressive winning at Delaware, he won going away and I thought it was very impressive. So I’m excited to see him run again.”
Lull: The Claiborne Farm’s and Adele Dilschneider’s homebred 3-year-old War Front filly is out of a half to Horse of the Year Saint Liam. The flashy, athletic 3-year-old shipped to Del Mar to finish second in Grade 2 San Clemente this month and came back well. “Aggressive ride, she was on the lead with (Brian) Hernandez and went a bit quick but she ran very well. She will win a big stakes one day, it’s just a question of time. I don’t have anything obvious at the moment. She just ran, and I will take my time to bring her back. She just shipped all the way across the country and I will bring her back later on in the late part of August or early part of September.”
Celestine: Moyglare Stud’s Grade 1 winner recently recorded two 3-furlong breezes over the training track at Belmont Park since her fifth on Belmont Stakes Day in the Grade 1 Just A Game. “She had a break after the Just A Game; she ran a touch off form. She looks well, she could come back in a race like the Noble Damsel at Belmont in the fall. I’m not going to be in a big hurry to bring her back.”
Yellow Agate: China Horse Club’s Frizette Stakes winner has made only one start in 2017, a fourth in the Alma North Stakes at Laurel Park June 17. Options are open for the 3-year-old daughter of Gemologist. “She’s ready to run back. She worked on the turf (at Belmont July 16 and again on the dirt training track at Belmont July 28) and she actually trained very well on the grass. So the big question is do we keep her on dirt at the moment or try the turf once? Michael Wallace of the China Horse Club will be here for the sales and I will talk to him about it and then we go from there. The filly’s well.”
White Flag: Robert Evans’ homebred 3-year-old War Front colt is 2-for-2 going short on the grass, notching consecutive wins in a maiden and allowance company at Belmont. The massive bay, who is out of a half sister to Grade 1 winners Forestry and Cash Run, is at Belmont and may sit out the Saratoga meet. “I’m not sure I’m going to bring White Flag. I don’t think he likes the heat too much; I’m not sure I want to run him this summer. I might just wait for September with him. There’s a race at Belmont called the Allied Forces Sept. 10. I’m going to take my time with him. He’s a nice horse and I don’t want to run him too much in the summer.”
Best Performance: The 2-year-old Broken Vow filly, owned in partnership by West Point Thoroughbreds, Tango Uniform Racing and Rob Masiello, was second in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes Opening Day. The strong, forward filly was a $300,000 purchase out of the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream 2-year-olds in training sale in March sale by West Point Thoroughbreds. “Fun filly. All good. She’s had three starts, only one won but ran well in the other two. We’ll bring her back, I’ve got to speak to Terry Finley. The Spinaway could be an option. I wouldn’t mind to one day trying her on the turf, or keep her going long on dirt, something like the Spinaway or Frizette in the fall. I’m convinced she wants to go further. We’ve been running her shorter because she’s precocious but I’m sure she’s bred to go further, she looks like she wants to go further.”
Blacktype: The French-bred 6-year-old gelding has been with Clement since late 2014 as part of Jump Sucker Stable. The lengthy dark bay is looking for his first win since the Grade 2 Commonwealth Turf Cup at Laurel last September, but he’s placed in three stakes since that victory. Entered in today’s Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes. “He’s in full work and doing well. He was a bit unlucky last time.”
Palinodie: The 4-year-old French-bred filly by Doctor Dino was a stakes winner in her native country and has been off since a seventh in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap in November. She worked a half-mile in :51.78 Saturday on the Oklahoma turf. “French filly, she came from France to run in the Long Island last year. She was put away for the whole winter, she’s on her way back but she’s nice. Hopefully could become a nice staying filly. Will be ready to run by the later part of the meet.”
Golden Orb: Clement was quick to mention this filly, a half sister to recent Grade 2 Honorable Miss runner-up Finley’sluckycharm. A $320,000 2-year-old in training buy has been working steadily for Clement in Saratoga this spring and summer, including a half-mile work in :50.77 on the Oklahoma turf July 28. “Nice 2-year-old filly. Purchased by Marette Farrell for Speedway Stables. She’s an Orb filly, related to Pure Clan. She’s been working steadily, she wants to go long on the turf, she will be running in a maiden pretty soon. I’m excited to see her run.”
Discretionary Marq and Summer Mischief: Discretionary Marq is a full-sister to Grade 1 winner Discreet Marq and Saratoga stakes winner Too Discreet for the Generazios. She was second by a nose in her debut going six on the grass at Belmont July 3 after overcoming traffic in the stretch, and has posted three works since. “Unfortunately, we had to wait for a race (weekend of July 29), the race did not go, the race will probably come back in the next week or 10 days. I’ve got two maiden New York-bred 3-year-olds who’ve been training well. One is Discretionary Marq and the other is Summer Mischief, who finished third when Discretionary Marq finished second. One of them will go short the other will go long. They are both training forwardly.”
Have At It: Robert Evans’ 2-year-old homebred colt by Kitten’s Joy is out of multiple graded stakes winner Akronism, by Not For Love. He’s worked steadily at Saratoga since May, including two breezes on the grass. “Kitten’s Joy out of a Not For Love mare for Mr. Evans. Full work, will run in the next two or three weeks. Seems to train like a nice horse. Most probably turf, most probably wants to go long on the grass.”