Clement May Send Gufo In Sword Dancer

Trainer Christophe Clement said he has been delighted thus far with Otter Bend Stables’ Gufo following two late-closing efforts against Grade 1 company to commence his 4-year-old season.

The consistent son of Declaration of War kept a never-off-the-board record intact when making up 17 lengths to finish a late-closing third to Domestic Spending in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y. on June 5, registering a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure. He arrived at the 10-furlong engagement off a narrow runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes on May 8, where he made a five-wide move in the upper stretch with dead aim on pacesetter Channel Cat, coming up a nose shy of victory.

“He was a bit erratic in the Manhattan. We’ve got to work on that,” Clement said. “I may put blinkers on him, I’m not sure yet. We’ll come back somewhere going a mile and a half or mile and three-eighths and get him going longer.”

Clement mentioned the $500,000 Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer on August 28 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. as a likely target and said Gufo could run once before said start.

During his 3-year-old season, Gufo won the English Channel Stakes at Gulfstream Park and Grade 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park before coming up a head shy of victory to Domestic Spending in the Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes. He successfully sought redemption next out in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes.

Clement has twice won the Sword Dancer Invitational, with Winchester [2011] and Honor Glide [1999].

Also pursuing Grade 1 turf action from the Clement stable is Plum Ali, who displayed a strong turf of foot with a close second when chasing a leisurely pace in the Grade 3 Wonder Again Stakes at Belmont Park on June 3. Owned by Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, and Michael Caruso, Plum Ali will target the 10-furlong $700,000 Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational on July 10, the first leg of the Turf Triple series for fillies.

“She should get the distance,” Clement said. “She came out of the Wonder Again in good shape. We’ll work her next week.”

Plum Ali, a daughter of First Samurai, began her racing career with wins in her first three starts, including the Grade 2 Miss Grillo Stakes on October 4. In two starts as a 3-year-old, Plum Ali gathered more graded stakes black type when third in the Grade 2 Appalachian Stakes before the last-out Wonder Again.

Clement has won the Belmont Oaks twice when raced as the Garden City Handicap with Miss World [2009] and Voodoo Dancer [2001].

R Unicorn Stable’s Call Me Love earned her first North American triumph in a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming event over the inner turf on May 23.

The daughter of Sea the Stars earned black-type twice last season with second-place finishes in the Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes at Belmont Park and the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga.

Call Me Love registered her second work since her last out triumph when breezing a half-mile in 49.45 seconds over the inner turf on Sunday morning.

Clement mentioned the $100,000 Perfect Sting on July 3 at Belmont, going one mile for fillies and mares, as an option for Call Me Love.

“Call Me Love worked well today,” Clement said. “There’s one stake this meet for fillies on the grass and it’s a mile which is a little on the short side for her, but we’re going to have a look at it. I think she wants to go further.”

Clement said he would send stakes winners Bye Bye and Bubbles On Ice to the one-mile $100,000 Wild Applause Stakes on June 26.

Owned by Bach Stables, Bye Bye is a winner of both her efforts on grass, most recently in the Grade 3 Soaring Softly Stales on May 15. Bubbles On Ice, owned by Glen Hill Farm, Madaket Stables, and Cheyenne Stables, was fifth in the Hilltop Stakes on May 15 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, M.D. last out after capturing her North American debut in the Memories of Silver Stakes on April 18 at Aqueduct.

The post Clement May Send Gufo In Sword Dancer appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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