Clondaw Warrior (near): ran on to take second behind Da Big Hoss
PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Scargill 7:53AM 14 AUG 2016
Report: USA, Saturday
Arlington Park: American St Leger (Grade 3) 1m5½f, turf, 3yo+
CLONDAW WARRIOR produced another excellent performance to showcase his remarkable versatility but his finishing effort never looked likely to overhaul favourite Da Big Hoss (Michael Maker/Florent Geroux).
Switching back to Flat racing having won the Galway Hurdle last time out, Clondaw Warrior found the rapid pace of US racing a challenge in the early stages as he raced full throttle towards the rear of the field.
By the Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old is tough, talented and stays strongly and he made up ground hand over fist in the closing stages to pick off all bar one of his rivals.
Rider Seamie Heffernan said: “He ran a lovely race. He was a bit slow from the gate, but the American horses are usually quicker than us, but he’s a very sweet horse and he ran a lovely race.”
Victory went to Da Big Hoss, who was claimed by connections for $ 50,000 in June last year and has since captured six stakes races in ten starts.
Winning rider Florent Geroux said: “He just loves to win. He always finds a way to find the wire and it doesn’t matter where he is, when you ask him to go, he goes.”
Also on Saturday
Arlington Park: Beverly D. Stakes (Grade 1) 1m1½f, turf, 3yo+ f&m
Sea Calisi (Chad Brown/Florent Geroux) put up the class performance of the day as she delivered a smooth victory and set herself up for a shot at the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on November 4.
Formerly trained by Francois Doumen in France, Sea Calisi has continued to thrive since switched to top US turf trainer Chad Brown and carried owner Martin Schwartz’s distinctive orange and blue silks to a comfortable success from Al’s Gal and Zipessa.
Geroux said: “Turf horses are push button, just sit back, pull the trigger and they are there when you need them. She’s a very nice filly, definitely no distance problem at all – she can win at longer if we have to.
“We got helped a lot today with the pacemaker, it was good for that, she needed some pace and clean trip and it worked out good.”
Arlington: Secretariat Stakes (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo
Aidan O’Brien was narrowly denied a third successive win in the Secretariat Stakes as Beach Patrol (Chad Brown/Florent Geroux) got the better of the rallying Long Island Sound by a head.
Seamie Heffernan rode a smart tactical race on Long Island Sound as he slipped through to lead at the top of the home straight, and battled hard as he was challenged by the running on Beach Patrol down the centre of the course. In the end, he only just failed.
Heffernan said: “It was an improvement on his last run. Very happy with him, and he’s an improving horse.”
Geroux praised the winner and runner-up and said: “We broke good there from the gate, I was able to stalk and when I asked him to go he was very brave. [Long Island Sound] didn’t give it up, and [Beach Patrol] showed a lot of heart.”