Breeders’ Cup Still Undecided for Gufo, Soldier Rising

October 23, 2022

Lady Edith to $150K Autumn Days

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Otter Bend Stables’ multiple Grade 1-winner Gufo, who is nominated to several upcoming international engagements, worked on Saturday in his first effort back from a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Classic. The chestnut son of Declaration of War posted a half-mile in 49.22 seconds over Belmont Park’s inner turf course, the sixth-fastest time of 17 recorded works at that distance.

“I thought he worked a little bit lazy yesterday,” said Clement. “So, I will speak to [owner] Mr. [Stephen] Cainelli today and we’ll make a decision about where to go next.”

Gufo, who scored a repeat victory in the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Invitational in August, has been nominated to both the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase on December 11 at Sha Tin Racecourse and the Group 1 Japan Cup on November 24 at Tokyo Racecourse. As the winner of the Sword Dancer, Gufo would receive a handsome bonus for performing well in the Japan Cup. The prestigious race, worth just over $3.4 million USD, will offer the winners of several top American turf races a $3 million, $1.2 million, $750,000, and $200,000 for a respective first, second, third or fourth-place finish.

Clement said Gufo’s nominations are to keep his options open, and included the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf on November 5 at Keeneland as another potential target.

“Everything has been considered,” said Clement. “We’re just keeping him eligible for everything. But the well-being of the horse comes first and we’ll just worry about that first.”

Along with two editions of the Sword Dancer, Gufo scored another Grade 1 victory as a sophomore in the Belmont Derby Invitational. His lone Breeders’ Cup start was a distant 10th-place finish in last year’s Grade 1 Turf at Del Mar.

Also nominated to the Hong Kong Vase is multiple graded stakes-placed Soldier Rising for owners Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, Morris Bailey, Wonder Stables and Michael J. Caruso. The bay son of Frankel was last seen finishing a good fourth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on October 8 at Belmont at the Big A where he rallied from fifth of 7 to just miss show honors by a nose.

Clement said Soldier Rising’s next start will be determined after he has his first work back from the Joe Hirsch.

“Same story with him,” said Clement. “I haven’t worked him yet, so I want to work him first and see where we’re at.”

Abbondanza Racing and Omar Aldabbagh’s Lady Edith topped a Clement-trained exacta over Too Sexy in the $150,000 Floral Park, a six-furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward last Sunday at Belmont at the Big A.

Lady Edith earned the third stakes win of her career and first for Clement with her Floral Park score, tracking in third for the first quarter-mile before easily improving her position and drawing away from her stablemate down the lane.

Though the daughter of Street Boss is entered as a racing or broodmare prospect [Hip 89] in the upcoming Keeneland November Sale, Clement said she is likely to skip the sale and target the six-furlong $150,000 Autumn Days over the turf on November 27 at the Big A instead.

“She’s doing well and the same spot comes back in late November, so we’ll try to aim her for that,” said Clement. “I thought she was very impressive the other day. I don’t think she’ll go to the sale.”

Clement said The Elkstone Group’s Too Sexy, a 5-year-old daughter of Quality Road, emerged from her game runner-up effort well and that a next start has not been determined.

Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Steven Rocco and Tango Uniform Racing’s New York-bred Silver Skillet will likely get a chance to break her maiden in style in next Sunday’s one-mile $200,000 Maid of the Mist on the Empire Showcase Day card.

A 2-year-old Liam’s Map filly, Silver Skillet has made two starts at the state-bred maiden special weight level, most recently finishing third in a September 22 six-furlong main track sprint after being squeezed at the start and improving position throughout at the Big A.

Silver Skillet worked a half-mile in 51.21 seconds Sunday over the Belmont main track, and Clement said he is looking forward to stretching out the $260,000 Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearling Sale purchase.

“She worked well this morning, so I’m going to the Maid of the Mist,” said Clement. “She’s a maiden, so it’s ambitious, but since she’s training well, I want to be ambitious with her. There’s no maiden going long, so it’s fun to try there.”

NYRA Press Office

Photo: Gufo wins the 2021 edition of the G1 Sword Dancer (Chris Rahayel)

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