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Clement Bids For Seventh Victory In Sunday's Orchid Stakes
By Jack Will
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Trainer Christophe Clement has won the $150,000 Orchid Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park a remarkable six times, beginning with Trampoli in 1994. Come Sunday, Clement will attempt to win the 1 ½ mile turf event for a seventh time with a trio of contenders.
Clement’s team in the field of eight consists of Castleton Lyons’ Tarrip, Alan Garcia; Newsells Park Stud’s Giant’s Play, Joe Bravo; and Moyglare Stud Farm’s Endless Expanse, Julien Leparoux.
Tarrip is a 5-year-old Kentucky homebred daughter of Green Desert set to make her first start since finishing third in 12-furlong the La Prevoyante Handicap (G3) at Calder on Jan. 2 won by Changing Skies. Tarrip finished the 2010 season finishing third in the Long Island Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct in mid-November.
Endless Expanse has a winning trip over the course, capturing an 11-furlong allowance race on Feb. 27 in her American debut. The 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Red Ransom won two of six starts in Ireland to begin her career. Giant’s Play finished third in an allowance going 1 7/16 miles on Feb. 4 in her American debut. The 4-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway won one of seven starts in England.
One threat to the Clement team will be Blue Devil Racing Stable’s 4-year-old filly Zapparition with Jose Lezcano to ride for trainer Dale Romans. The 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper finished a game second behind Keertana last out in the 11-furlong The Vero One Stakes (G3) over the course on Feb. 20
Trainer Graham Motion sends out an interesting prospect in Rashit Shaykhutdinov’s 4-year-olod German-bred filly La Luna de Miel with John Velazquez named to ride. The daughter of Monsun won an ‘a other than’ allowance over the course on Feb. 18 going 1 7/16 miles in her third career start, following a win and eighth-place finish in Germany last spring.
Completing the field for the 48th edition of the Orchid are Robert Trussell’s Queens Martha, Paco Lopez; Brous Stable and Wachtel Stable’s Musical Rain, Javier Castellano; and Mrs. George Sensor’s Doe Run, Kent Desormeaux.
Clement was relatively new to training in the U.S. after launching his career in France when Trampoli won. He sent out four straight Orchid winners from 1999-2002 with Coretta among the most accomplished as she went on to finish second in the first ever running of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) run at Gulfstream in 1999 won by Soaring Softly, the latter voted Eclipse champion.