ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Christophe Clement will saddle a trio of formidable contenders in Derrynane, Breeze Easy and Anador in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Soaring Softly, a seven-furlong sprint for sophomore fillies over the Widener turf, at Belmont Park.
Waterville Lake Stables’ Derrynane, a New York homebred by Quality Road out of the graded-stakes placed Hard Spun mare Portmagee, enters from a narrow neck defeat to Ruthin in the 5 1/2-furlong Limestone on April 15 over good Keeneland turf.
Derrynane, who has yet to travel beyond 5 1/2-furlongs through five career starts, graduated at first asking against fellow state-breds in July at Saratoga Race Course. She captured the Woodbine Cares two starts later in September over the inner turf ahead of a rallying fourth, defeated a length by Twilight Gleaming in the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint in November at Del Mar.
“I thought her race at Keeneland was very impressive. She got beat but she was very game and willing. She finished well to the end. It will be interesting to see if we can stretch her out a bit,” said Clement.
Joel Rosario, aboard for all five starts, retains the mount from post 9.
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Breeze Easy, a British-bred daughter of Bated Breath, launched her career in England for trainer David Evans, breaking her maiden in August at Carlisle.
The dual stakes placed filly finished third in the six-furlong Rockingham on October 9 at York and second in the Radley over seven furlongs on October 23 at Newbury before being purchased for $349,534 at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale.
Breeze Easy wintered with Clement at Payson Park in Florida and has breezed regularly in company with Derrynane, including a May 13 effort over the Belmont inner turf in 50.34.
“Breeze Easy is training very well,” Clement said. “They are perfect together. They finish well, they’re willing and they stick together. They’re a good team.”
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano has the call on Breeze Easy from post 2.
Completing the Clement troika is Tony Weintraub, Tango Uniform Racing, and Brandon Dalinka’s French-bred Anador, who enters from a strong second-place finish in a one-mile optional-claimer on April 21 over firm Gulfstream Park turf.
The Anodin chestnut launched her career in her native France with Frederic Head before joining Clement in the fall and graduating in October traveling one-mile over good Belmont turf. She finished fifth, defeated two lengths, in her stakes debut in the 1 1/16-mile Tepin in November at the Big A to close out her juvenile campaign.
Anador exits post 5 under Eric Cancel, who guided Bye Bye to victory in last year’s Soaring Softly for Clement.
Bradley Thoroughbreds, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Tim Cambron, Anna Cambron and Team Hanley’s Haughty will make her seasonal debut for four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown.
The Empire Maker bay crossed the wire first in her September debut at Belmont but was disqualified and placed third after interfering with Diamond Hands in upper stretch. Haughty made immediate amends, drawing off to a four-length score in October over good Keeneland turf in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight. She completed her campaign with a rallying third-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, defeated less than a length by the victorious Pizza Bianca.
Out of the Kingmambo mare Soaring Emotions, Haughty is a half-sibling to the versatile multiple graded stakes placed Souper Colossal, who, in 2015, won the Texas Glitter at 5 1/2-furlongs on the Gulfstream turf and finished second to Madefromlucky later that year in the nine-furlong Grade 2 West Virginia Derby over the Mountaineer main track.
Flavien Prat picks up the mount from post 8.
Stonestreet Stables’ Chardy Party, an Irish-bred daughter of Dark Angel, rallied from ninth to win on debut sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs against older company on April 27 over the Keeneland turf. The grey demonstrated an impressive turn of foot down the lane under Irad Ortiz, Jr. to inhale her rivals and earn a half-length victory.
Chardy Party breezed six furlongs in 1:15.44 on May 15 over Belmont’s inner turf in company with Duke of Hazzard, who finished a distant second in Saturday’s Seek Again at Belmont.
Ortiz, Jr. will pilot Chardy Party from post 12.
Madaket Stables and Michael Dubb’s Ouraika captured the Grade 3 Sweet Life in February at 6 1/2-furlongs over the Santa Anita turf. Trained by Graham Motion, the French-bred Zelzal bay stretched out to one-mile last out in the Grade 2 Appalachian on April 9 at Keeneland, finishing a distant seventh.
Ouraika launched her career in her native France and graduated in July at Dax before shipping to Motion’s care in North America to launch her stateside campaign with a fourth-place finish in the Chelsey Flower in November at Belmont.
Ouraika will emerge from post 11 under Manny Franco.
Treadway Racing Stable’s Kentucky homebred Sail By, by Astern, captured the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Miss Grillo in October at Belmont ahead of an off-the-board effort in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at one mile in November at Del Mar.
Trained by Leah Gyarmati, Sail By set the pace en route to a third-place finish in her seasonal debut in the 1 1/16-mile Memories of Silver on April 24 over the Aqueduct Racetrack turf.
Jose Lezcano will guide Sail By from post 10.
The tastefully named maiden winner Wonka, by Twirling Candy, will make her stakes debut for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and owner LNJ Foxwoods.
The $140,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase graduated at second asking in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on March 27 over the Gulfstream Park turf, besting next out winner Linda’s Gift by 2 1/4-lengths.
The regally-bred Wonka is out of the unraced Arch mare Monarchia, who is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Interactif. Wonka’s fourth dam is Hall of Famer Personal Ensign.
Wonka will exit post 7 under Jose Ortiz.
Rounding out the field are stakes-placed Champagne Poetry [post 1, Luis Saez], who returns to turf for the first time since her maiden voyage for trainer Chad Summers; the Derek Ryan-trained maiden winner Lost My Sock [post 3, Dylan Davis], who finished a close fourth last out in the Limestone; along with maiden winners Snow Loves a Fight [post 6, Trevor McCarthy] and Wish You Well [post 4, John Velazquez]. Baby Man, who would add blinkers, is entered for the main-track only.
The Soaring Softly is slated as Race 9 on Saturday’s 10-race card. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
NYRA Press Office
Photo of Derrynane by Chelsea Durand