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Breeders Cup 2015

La Cloche Prepares for Noble Damsel

James Toner

La Cloche may not be as acclaimed as her multiple Grade 1-winning, recently retired younger half-sister Winter Memories, but she’ll have the chance to gain further recognition when she competes in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel on September 15 at Belmont Park.


On Friday, La Cloche breezed five furlongs in 1:04.09 on the Oklahoma turf course.


The Noble Damsel, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares, is one of two graded stakes on the September 15 card, the other being the Grade 1 Garden City, a race Toner won last year with Winter Memories, who was retired with a bone bruise after she captured the Grade 1 Diana in July at the Spa.


“I wish it was Winter Memories [running in the Noble Damsel], but I can’t do anything about that,” Toner said with a chuckle. “But [La Cloche is] doing well.”


La Cloche, a 5-year-old, became a stakes winner two starts back when she annexed Belmont ’s Voodoo Dancer overnight stakes on July 8. In her most recent start, she was fifth in the De La Rose on August 4 at Saratoga . Three of her four wins have come at Belmont .


“She ran up here [at Saratoga], and she didn’t run as well as I expected her to,” said Toner. “I think she likes Belmont , the one-turn mile.”


Like Winter Memories, La Cloche races for her breeder, the Phillips Racing Partnership. The Phillips family of Darby Dan Farm also campaigned their dam, two-time Grade 1 winner Memories of Silver.


“In her own right, [La Cloche] has been a very competitive, nice filly,” said Toner. “She’s won a stakes, she’s stakes placed, and she tries very hard. She’s not at the level [of Winter Memories], but how many are?”



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