Tonalist Keeps Clement's Belmont Dream Alive

Tonalist Keeps Clement's Belmont Dream Alive
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand
Tonalist winning the Peter Pan Stakes.
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Tonalist came out of his impressive win in the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) May 10 in good order and has trainer Christophe Clement dreaming of classic glory in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I)
 
"Everything is fine; he's keeping the dream alive," Clement said of the Tapit   colt after his four-length Peter Pan victory. "It's great. Any stakes horse is exciting, but to have a horse to make the Belmont is even more exciting. Last time we were there (2003) with a horse named Dynever, who didn't like it sloppy, and all it did was rain all day."
 
Working backward from the 1 1/2-mile Belmont, Clement said Tonalist would like have two works, most likely on May 22 or 23 and again on May 30 or 31.
 
"And that will be it," he said.
 
Owned by Robert S. Evans, Tonalist was making his stakes debut in the Peter Pan, a traditional prep for the Belmont after missing the Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) last month with a lung infection.
 
Clement is known for his prowess with turf horses, notably multiple Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti  , but has had his share of success on the main track as well, including with 2009 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) winner Funny Moon.
 
"It used to upset me, at the end of the day, you were pigeon-holed at something and my deal for years was as a turf filly and mare trainer," he said. "But, Bill Mott told me long ago, 'It's better to be pigeon-holed at something than nothing.' I feel very comfortable to train from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/2 miles, turf or dirt, that's me, that's the way it is."

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