Glens Falls Becomes a Clement Affair
Updated: Saturday, August 23, 2003 4:14 PM
Posted: Saturday, August 23, 2003 4:14 PM
Trainer Christophe Clement, whose barn has been hit hard by the poor weather this summer forcing so many races off the Saratoga turf, starts three in Monday's $100,000-added Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares at 1 3/8 mile.
While there is no guarantee the weather will remain sunny Monday afternoon, Clement is planning to run Mariensky, Sixty Seconds and Midnight Angel in the grass stakes.
"It has been tough finding races for these horses because of the weather," Clement said. "It becomes much more difficult to choose your spots with the horses. I don't like running three horses in the same race, but there are very little options for us at the moment."
After going winless in seven races last year, Mariensky has won all but her last race in four starts this year. Two of those victories came in graded events at Belmont Park - the Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) and the Just A Game Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT).
When Mariensky, who was purchased for $200,000 by Waterville Lake Stable at the Fasig-Tipton sales as a yearling at Saratoga three years ago, came to the United States from France, Clement tested her class in the Lake George here (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga. She came close, missing by a half-length to Nunatall after being steadied in traffic.
She was inconsistent after that race, however, going unplaced in both the Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) and the Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs. In her other graded stakes race, the Valley View (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland, Mariensky was beaten by a nose.
"She ran well for us last year," Clement said. "She just had some bad racing luck. We gave her some time off and she has really come back well since."
Mariensky has not run since finishing sixth in the New York Handicap (gr. IIT) on Independence Day. But Clement is confident that Mariensky, who will carry the high weight of 119 pounds with John Velazquez, going into the Glens Falls.
"I think she likes to run the mile and three eighths, just as long as everything goes well," Clement said. "I think what happened to her in the New York Handicap is the field got away on her when she tried to make her run. The pace was slow early and the last five-eighths (of a mile) was a little too quick for her running style."
Sixty Seconds makes her second start in the country after coming in from Australia for the Leigh Family Stable. The New Zealand-bred made her American debut five weeks ago in allowance race at Belmont where she won over a yielding course by three lengths.
Before making the transition from the Southern Hemisphere, Sixty Seconds was a multiple-group stakes winner, including the group I Arrowfield Stud Stakes as a 4-year-old, and was third in the New Zealand Derby (NZ-I) as a 3-year-old.
"I don't know much about her races in Australia," Clement said. "But I do know that the owners told me she ran some nice races in New Zealand and they wanted to bring the filly to this country to try some of the stakes."
Sixty Seconds will carry 115 pounds and jockey Jose Santos.
Midnight Angel is another import who has had light racing experience in the U.S. Before coming to Clement's stable, Midnight Angel had been racing throughout Europe, including a third-place finish in the Italian Oaks (Ity-I) and second-place running in the German Oaks.
In two races this year, Midnight Angel has finished no worse than second, including a second-place finish behind Cozie Advantage in an allowance race with at Belmont at the end of June.
"She put in a couple of good finishes in Europe against some nice horses," Clement said. "She's a speedy filly and has been doing well since coming here. [Jean-Luc] Samyn had been really working well with her. Now, we have to be without him because of his injury."
Samyn cracked his femur in Wednesday's seventh race when he fell off Vinthea. Samyn had surgery at Manhattan's Hospital the following day. Richard Migliore takes over.
Juddmonte Farms' Trekking is the likely pacesetter in the Glens Falls after showing preference of going to the lead in her last three races. The lightly-race import for Hall of Fame trainer Robert Frankel is coming off a fifth-place finish after setting the pace in the New York Handicap.
Trekking's best race since coming from England was the Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita where she finished second, just beaten three quarters of a length, by stablemate Megahertz, who recently won the John Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar.$100,000-added Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT), fillies & mares 3 & up, 1 3/8 mile on turf)
PP. HORSE, TRAINER, JOCKEY, WGT.
1. Mariensky, Christophe Clement, John Velazquez, 119
2. Sunstone, Robert Barbara, Javier Castellano, 112
3. Cozie Advantage, John Kimmel, Robbie Albarado, 112
4. Midnight Angel, Christophe Clement, Richard Migliore, 113
5. Dynamic Lisa, Scott Schwartz, Pat Day (1), 112
6. Lady of the Future, Thomas Greene, Mark Guidry, 114
7. Trekking, Robert Frankel, Edgar Prado, 113
8. Sixty Seconds, Christophe Clement, Jose Santos, 115
9. Alternate, Graham Motion, Oliver Castillo, 116
10. Primetimevalentine, Daniel Peitz, Eibar Coa, 113 also eligible
11. Ellie's Quest, Phil G. Johnson, Mike Luzzi, 111
12. Belles Lettres, Phil G. Johnson, Shaun Bridgmohan, 111
13. Fly Borboleta, Elliott Walden, Pat Day (2), 120 Fly Borboleta is entered for the main track only.
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