Papa Clem, the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner who turned in a lackluster five-furlong work in 1:05 at Pimlico on Tuesday, was given a sharp blowout by trainer Gary Stute Friday morning.
Although the work was only two furlongs, with the last eighth being the serious part of it and the only part that could be seen through the fog, it was obvious the colt was going fast, as he came charging down the stretch in full stride.
Stute, standing in the back of apron, asked Gary Stevens, up higher at the top of the stairs of the boxes, to let him know when he saw him. As Papa Clem emerged out of the fog, Stevens said, “Here he comes now, and he’s rolling, too.”
When Stute caught his first glimpse of him he said, “Good, this is what I wanted.”
Stute then got a thumbs up from his father, Mel, who was watching a short distance away. “I got him in :11 1/5,” kidded the elder Stute, who didn’t even have a watch.
This was the second time that Papa Clem turned in a sharp blowout right before a race (the other being before the Kentucky Derby) to compensate for a bungled longer work.