Clement leaning towards G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf with Gufo

October 16, 2021

Belmont Park Week 7 stakes probables

ELMONT, N.Y. – Otter Bend Stables’ Gufo remains in training for the Grade 1, $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf, but trainer Christophe Clement said he has still not officially committed to the race. 

The chestnut son of Declaration of War was third in last Saturday’s Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Tur Classic, six weeks after earning an entry into the Turf when capturing the “Win And You’re In” Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer at Saratoga. 

Clement said a breeze next weekend will likely determine Gufo’s Breeders’ Cup status. 

“We are training him to go to the Breeders’ Cup at the moment,” Clement said. “I will speak to [Otter Bend Stables owner] Mr. Cainelli in the coming week for the plan and we’ll make a decision. He’ll breeze next weekend and then we’ll assess him after the work.”

Never out of the money in a baker’s dozen lifetime starts, Gufo captured the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational last October and the Grand Couturier in July at Belmont. He was a respective second and third in his first two starts of the year in the Man o’ War and Manhattan, both Grade 1 races at Belmont. He has banked earnings of nearly $1.2 million. 

On Saturday morning, Clement breezed his graded stakes-placed pair Soldier Rising and City Man in company over the Belmont inner turf in 47.20 seconds. 

Second in the Grade 1 Saratoga Derby Invitational and Jockey Club Derby Invitational, the last two legs of the Turf Triple series, Soldier Rising will target the Grade 2, $400,000 Hill Prince next Saturday at Belmont Park. 

City Man, a three-time New York-bred stakes winner, will make his next start in the $200,000 Mohawk as part of a lucrative Empire Showcase Day on October 30. 

“They worked a touch quick, but they worked well,” Clement said. “They came back in good order and are in good shape so far. Solider Rising will go to the Hill Prince and City Man is on target for the Mohawk.” 

Soldier Rising will see a significant cutback in distance in the nine-furlong Hill Prince after finishing second in the Jockey Club Derby at 1 ½ miles. 

“With the way he worked today, I think he’ll be okay,” Clement said. 

Also on the work tab for Clement was Moyglare Stud Farm’s four-time winner Beautiful Lover, who went an easy half-mile in 52.10 seconds. The 5-year-old Arch mare will target the $100,000 Zagora on October 31 at Belmont.

“She worked well. It was a slow, but by design. She finished up nicely,” Clement said.

A last-out fifth in the Grade 3 Fasig-Tipton Waya on October 3, Beautiful Lover defeated eventual graded stakes placed Miss Teheran in a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming tilt on June 27 at Belmont. She secured a stakes win in capturing the Boiling Springs in 2019 at Monmouth Park and earned graded stakes black type last season when second in the Grade 2 Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs and the Grade 3 Matchmaker at Monmouth. 

Belmont Park week 7 stakes probables

Friday, October 22 

$100,000 Carle Place 

Probable: Arzak (Michael Trombetta), Easy Time (Mark Casse), Kawhi Me A River (John Terranova), Ocala Dream (Tom Morley), Smokin’ Jay (Kelsey Danner), Snow House (Brad Cox), Space Launch (Christophe Clement) 

Possible: Wolfie’s Dynaghost (Tom Albertrani) 

Saturday, October 23 

Grade 3, $200,000 Noble Damsel 

Probable: Dream About Me (Jimmy Toner), High Opinion (Tony Dutrow), Love and Thunder (Chad Brown), Platinum Paynter (Juan Vazquez), Tamahere (Chad Brown) 

Possible: Advocating (Michael Stidham), Risky Mischief (Jeremiah Englehart), Shifty She (Saffie Joseph, Jr.) 

Grade 2, $400,000 Hill Prince 

Probable: Cellist (Rusty Arnold), Founder (Chad Brown), He’spuregold (Kelly Breen), Hilliard (Mike Maker), Never Surprised (Todd Pletcher), Original (John Terranova), Public Sector (Chad Brown), Sifting Sands (Chad Brown), Slicked Back (Brad Cox), Soldier Rising (Christophe Clement)  

Possible: Experienced (Jonathan Thomas) 

Sunday, October 24 

$100,000 Point of Entry  

Probable: Bluegrass Parkway (Mike Maker), Shamrocket (Todd Pletcher) 

For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE.

Belmont Park Notes/NYRA Press Office
Photo: Gufo winning the Grand Couturier at Belmont on July 5, 2021, under Joel Rosario. (Susie Raisher)

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