3YO Colt Won Twice at Laurel Park Before Move to Puerto Rico
Sanchez-Salomon Doubles Saturday to Tie Atop Trainer Standings
Live Racing Canceled Sunday, Returns Thursday, July 28
LAUREL, MD – Sonata Stable’s 3-year-old colt Conclusive, a two-time winner at Laurel Park last fall and winter before being relocated to Puerto Rico, chases his third straight win and second consecutive Group 1 victory in Sunday’s Clasico Barbosa Memorial at Camarero.
Conclusive won twice in seven U.S. starts – a 1 1/8-mile maiden special weight triumph last Halloween and a 5 ¾-length optional claiming allowance romp going 1 1/16 miles to kick off his sophomore season Jan. 2, both at Laurel as the favorite.
The season opener convinced Sonata’s Marc Tacher and trainer Mike Trombetta to get Conclusive involved in Laurel’s winter series of stakes for 3-year-olds starting with the Feb. 19 Miracle Wood, where he was favored again but ran last of six. He got another chance in the March 19 Private Terms but wound up fifth behind a top trio of multiple stakes winners Shake Em Loose, Joe and Local Motive.
“I brought him to Puerto Rico because after his last couple of races there I thought he’d have easier competition as a 3-year-old,” Tacher said. “Obviously, it’s turned out OK. He’s done very well and he continues to do very well.”
Conclusive was given time to acclimate and didn’t make his next start until a 1 1/8-mile allowance June 4, romping by 11 ½ lengths in front-running fashion. Sent off at 1-9 in the 1 3/16-mile Clasico 4 de Julio (G1) for imported 3-year-olds July 4, he led all the way again to win by 4 ¼ lengths.
“Once we brought him down, he didn’t have any races in May scheduled in the condition book so I decided to wait until June,” Tacher said. “Once these horses make the trip, I don’t think it’s a good idea to race them right away. It’s a plane trip and weather-wise it’s different, so it’s good that they have some time to get used to the track and their surroundings. He’s handled everything very well.”
Conclusive will be stretching out to 1 ¼ miles in the Barbosa Memorial for open 3-year-olds and up, where he will face his elders for the first time. He is 2-1 on the morning line in a field of nine behind his multiple Group 1-winning stablemate Walkoff and Group 3 winner Sope.
“He’s feeling great. My only concerns for Sunday are [that] he’s going against older horses and he’s never faced older horses, and I normally don’t like to run three weeks after a race,” Tacher said. “I’d rather have at least 30 days between races but this time it’s 21 days. That’s the stakes calendar and you can’t do anything about it. Hopefully he’ll be able to handle those two things.”
Tacher has had success transitioning horses from the U.S. to Puerto Rico, including the 6-year-old Walkoff, who enters the Barbosa on a seven-race win streak after making 15 domestic starts with six wins at Belmont Park, Saratoga, Keeneland and Gulfstream Park West. Tacher felt Conclusive could follow a similar path.
“I think he can. At least talent-wise, he’s got the ability to do that. Of course, he’s got to show it in the races. I think he can do it, I really do,” Tacher said. “Walkoff is a horse that used to run very well in the U.S. and I bought him at Keeneland and brought him to Puerto Rico and he’s done very, very well. Last time he had to fight to earn his win, but most importantly he did win. Hopefully, it’ll be a good show on Sunday between those two.”
Tacher didn’t rule out a U.S. return for Conclusive, a son and grandson of champions Nyquist and Afleet Alex, respectively, who he purchased for $155,000 as a yearling in 2020 and has attracted stateside interest.
“After his last race a couple people asked about him, trainers that I have in the U.S.,” he said. “They asked me about my thoughts and I said I’m going to give him this next race and I’ll decide from there.”
Tacher employs 10 trainers in the U.S., with Trombetta his Maryland connection and Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher a new addition. This year Sonata’s horses have raced domestically at Laurel, Gulfstream Park, Belmont, Fair Grounds, Lousiana Downs, Evangeline Downs, Lone Star and Tampa Bay Downs as well as Woodbine in Canada.
Equibase statistics show Sonata has reached triple digits in annual wins four straight years and ranked second among owners in North America with 104 in 2020 and 117 in 2021. It currently sits fourth with 60 wins from 187 starters (32 percent) and 131 top three finishes (70 percent) in 2022.
“You look for the best spots for them. I think sometimes you win or lose when you enter a horse in a race, if you don’t put them in the right spot,” Tacher said. “We try to do a good job with that and it shows in the percentage. We’re 70 percent in the top three which is pretty remarkable. We’re over 30 percent win-wise, so that shows that at least we’re picking the right spots.”
Notes: Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon sent out a pair of winners Saturday – Jimmy the Kid ($22.20) in Race 2 and Antipoison ($12.80) in Race 5 – to tie Claudio Gonzalez atop the summer meet training standings with 12 wins apiece … Antipoison was the second win on the card for jockey Luis Garcia, who also took Saturday’s opener with Ghostly Night ($10.20) … Uptown Girls Racing and Michael Upton’s Don’t Tell Deren ($7) powered to a front-running eight-length debut victory in Race 4, a 5 ½-furlong maiden claimer for 2-year-old fillies. The winning time was 1:06.14 over a fast main track … With temperatures expected to reach a near-record 98 degrees and a heat index approaching 105, Sunday’s live program at Laurel has been canceled and moved to Thursday, July 28. Post time for the first of eight races is 12:40 p.m.
Maryland Jockey Club Press Release
Photo: Conclusive, (MJC)