Christophe Clement

Essential Quality Fine After Travers Win

Godolphin's Essential Quality (Tapit) exited his win in Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. in fine shape, and, while his next start is up in the air, his ultimate target will be the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Classic, trainer Brad Cox confirmed Sunday. "He looked great this morning. He's in good shape," Cox said. "[Godolphin USA President] Jimmy Bell and I spoke about [his next start] this morning, there's no pressure to make a decision right now. We'll just let the dust settle and enjoy this victory for a little...

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Gufo Gets It Done in Sword Dancer

Otter Bend Stables LLC's super consistent Gufo (Declaration of War) held off a furious late bid from European invader Japan (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) to score the second highest-level win of his career in Saturday's GI Sword Dancer S. at Saratoga--a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Turf. Last seen annexing the Grand Couturier S. over this trip downstate July 5, the 5-2 shot was content to sit at the back early along the rail. He crept closer as they approached the final turn after a mile...

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Candy Ride Colt Controls Funny Cide

Senbei came out running from the rail and never looked back to beat a good-looking bunch of New York-bred juveniles Friday. A 4 3/4-length debut graduate in the mud here July 18, the chestnut got lost a bit in the wagering but made them pay. Hustled to the front by Manny Franco, Senbei posted strong fractions of :22 flat and :44.88 with Rick Violette S. winner Run Curtis Run (Summer Front) applying the pressure. He left his pursuer in the dust at the top of the lane, and was never...

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Well-Bet Frankel Filly Obliges in First-Out Spa Score

2nd-Saratoga, $100,000, Msw, 8-22, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 1:49.45, yl, 1 1/2 lengths. FORTINENO (IRE) (f, 2, Frankel {GB}--Rubina {Ire} {SP-Ire}, by Invincible Spirit {Ire}), backed to 6-5 favoritism for this debut despite a modest-looking worktab, traveled in a clear fifth as Seduce (Into Mischief) dictated terms through pokey fractions of :26.06 and :51.81 over boggy ground. Picking up a bit three wide nearing the lane, the $400,000 Keeneland September buy found her best stride passing the eighth pole and wore down the pacesetter in the final sixteenth to score...

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Sunday's Insights: Fancy Fillies Kick off Festivities at Spa

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 1st-SAR, $100K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f, post time: 1:05 p.m. ET A pair of half-sisters to Grade I winners line up for top trainers in the Sunday opener. Red Oak Stable homebred Goddess of Fire (Mineshaft) is out of speedy stakes winner Feel That Fire (Lightnin N Thunder), making her a half to Mind Control (Stay Thirsty), a debut winner at two who took the GI Hopeful S. in 2018 here, GI H. Allen Jerkens S. the following season and was last seen annexing...

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Trainers React to Navarro Guilty Plea

On Wednesday, disgraced trainer Jorge Navarro pled guilty to one count of distribution of adulterated and misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead, a major development in the doping scandal that has rocked the sport since indictments were announced in March of 2020. Navarro will likely spend time in prison and has been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $25,860,514. His career is over and he may be deported to his native Panama. But was this good day or bad day for the sport?  And what...

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Fastnet Rock Filly Storms to Debut Win at Saratoga

5th-Saratoga, $100,000, Msw, 7-22, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 1:46.88, gd, 3/4 length. PIZZA BIANCA (f, 2, Fastnet Rock {Aus}--White Hot {Ire}, by Galileo {Ire}), sent off at 5-1, settled well back in last as Hope Over Fear (Cupid) took the field through fractions of :24.88 and :50.53. Expand the Map (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) made an eye-catching move on the far turn and Pizza Bianca shadowed the move of that favorite before unleashing a powerful rally to inhale that foe in deep stretch and graduate by three-quarter lengths. Pizza Bianca...

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Candy Ride Colt Debuts a Winner at the Spa

5th-Saratoga, $85,000, (S), Msw, 7-18, 2yo, 5 1/2f, 1:04.38, my, 4 3/4 lengths. SENBEI (c, 2, Candy Ride {Arg}--Sweet Aloha, by Western Cat), a $280,000 KEEJAN short yearling purchase in 2020, was sent off at 5-1. The chestnut colt was hustled out to the early lead and and was clear through a quarter in :22.38 and a half in :46.04. He extended his advantage down the lane and came home a 4 3/4-length winner. Longshot Gimmedamoney (Central Banker) chased throughout to finish second. Senbei is a half-brother to Filibustin (Bustin...

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Bert Firestone Passes Away

Bert Firestone, who along with his wife Diana, enjoyed international success at racing's top level for decades, passed away Monday at JFK Medical center in West Palm Beach. He was 89. Firestone, a successful industrial real estate developer, was a hands-on horseman--he spent a summer in the early 1950s galloping for trainer Charlie Whittingham--whose American racing successes led to seven Eclipse Awards. Honest Pleasure (What a Pleasure) earned the couple's first Eclipse statue as champion 2-year-old of 1971 and he was followed by 1977 champion sprinter What a Summer (What...

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Sunday's Insights: Malibu Moon 'Rising Star' Returns at Belmont

7th-BEL, $92K, Alw, N1X, 3yo/up, f/m, 6f, post time: 3:47 p.m. ET The rail-drawn HARPER'S IN CHARGE (Malibu Moon) makes her first start since posting a runaway wire-to-wire 'TDN Rising Star' performance on debut at Aqueduct Nov. 15. The $220,000 KEESEP yearling purchase's unraced dam Azara (More Than Ready) is a half-sister to the brilliant Tepin (Bernstein) and MGSW Vyjack (Into Mischief). Harper's in Charge has a pair of bullets on her worktab for this at Christophe Clement's Saratoga base. Even-money morning-line favorite Bella Sofia (Awesome Patriot), runner-up behind the...

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More Than Ready Filly Romps to Rising Star Debut at Belmont

West Point Thoroughbreds and Jimmy Kahig's Ready A.P. (More Than Ready) stormed to a dazzling 8 1/4-length debut win at Belmont Park Thursday to become the latest 'TDN Rising Star.' The dark bay filly, sent off the 3-5 favorite, was away slowly and trailed the field in the early going. She rushed up into contention entering the far turn and inhaled the leader nearing the stretch before striding home powerfully without ever being asked. One Track Mine (Mineshaft) was second. Ready A.P. was a $125,000 purchase at last year's Fasig-Tipton...

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Another New Graded Winner for Into Mischief at Belmont

Bye Bye (Into Mischief) did it tough from her widest gate in a field of 11 for Saturday's GIII Soaring Softly S. at Belmont Park, but overcame a fair bit of ground loss to remain unbeaten in two turf starts while giving her all-conquering sire his second new graded winner on the afternoon. Away alertly, the $140,000 Keeneland September yearling raced five or six off the inside as longshot Lexinator (Fed Biz) set the early pace from 'TDN Rising Star' Star Devine (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}). Eric Cancel allowed Bye...

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