Two-year-old fillies Concave and Clenor did their part to reverse the
fortunes of the Doug O’Neill stable for the meeting with victories in
the Sorrento Stakes and a maiden turf event respectively on Wednesday.
Thursday morning, O’Neill set major graded stakes goals for both.
Concave will be pointed for the $300,000 Grade I Del Mar Debutante on
Saturday, August 31 and Clenor for the $100,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf on
Monday, September 2.
“Nice fillies. Both of them came out of it good,” said O’Neill, whose
stable had been 3-for-51 over the first 15 days of racing at Del Mar
before doubling the win total on Wednesday with the victories by Concave
and Clenor and another by Et Tu Walker in the first.
Concave, a daughter of freshman sire Colonel John, was purchased for
$160,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale in March in Florida. She was picked
out by O’Neill’s brother Dennis for J. Paul Reddam.
“It was a lot to pay for a first-year sire, but we twisted (Reddam’s)
arm and he showed faith in us,” Dennis said. Concave is now 2-for-2.
The Sorrento victory was achieved by a half-length over She’s A Tiger.
The $90,000 winner’s share of the purse increased her earnings to
Clenor, an Irish-bred daughter of Oratorio, was privately purchased
in late July for a group that includes the Great Friends Stable headed
by San Diego sports talk radio host Scott Kaplan.
O’Neill assistants Jack Sisterson and Steve Rothblum were the point men for the discovery and purchase.
“Jack and Steve are constantly looking at races over in Europe,”
O’Neill said. “They found out she was for sale and contacted the
connections over there. She was third against the boys in a Group 3
stakes (June 30) in Ireland, so we were very confident, but you never
know until they run.”
In Wednesday’s fourth race, Clenor went off as the odds-on favorite
in a field of eight and displayed a European-style late turn of foot to
win going away by 2 ½ lengths.
Rothblum declined to be specific on the purchase price. But it looks to be a bargain at the moment.