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Speaking of Which, Bombaguia Target Man o' War

Speaking of Which likely will step up in class for the Grade 1 Man o’ War, trainer Christophe Clement said on Friday.

 

A winner of a 1 ¼-mile Group 3 stakes in Ireland, Speaking of Which was shipped to the United States in the fall, finishing second in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby and last of 14 in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby for Irish trainer Dermot Weld. He was subsequently transferred to Clement and finished sixth in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy in May at Belmont and won an optional claimer on June 21 at Monmouth Park in his first two starts for his new trainer.

 

Clement said he had been wanting to stretch out Speaking of Which after the 4-year-old ran in the Fort Marcy. Both the Fort Marcy and the June 21 optional claimer were contested at 1 1/16 miles.

 

“I ran him in the Fort Marcy, and I made a big mistake,” said Clement. “He should have gone farther. They went very quickly and he was always one paced. He was not tight enough.”

 

Speaking of Which was going to prep for the Man o’ War by competing in the Three Coins Up overnight stakes on June 14 at Belmont, but the race came off the turf, prompting Clement to run the colt in the Monmouth optional claimer. The Moyglare Stud Farm homebred went on to win the Monmouth race by 2 ¾ lengths.

 

“It was an easy race, but I thought it went well,” said Clement. “He was very impressive. It was a perfect race, mentally, for him, and he came back in very good order. He had one easy work, and he looked great last weekend.”

 

Clement said he will make a final decision on Speaking of Which following the weekend.

 

“He is a nice horse,” said Clement. “Is he nice or very nice? That’s the question.”

 

*          *          *

 

GoldMark Farm’s Bombaguia, who is exiting a disappointing performance in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap on June 8, will be given another opportunity to compete in a Grade 1 as he is now targeting the Man o’ War, according to trainer John Kimmel.

 

A two-time runner-up in graded stakes at Belmont, Bombaguia finished last of eight in the Manhattan, which was contested over yielding turf. Kimmel said Bombaguia, who was second by a half-length in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy on May 4 at Belmont, didn’t handle the surface in the Manhattan.

 

“You throw the last race out,” said Kimmel. “[Jockey] Edgar [Prado] said he was great until he had to ask him. He pinned his ears. He didn’t like [the yielding turf] one bit.”

 

Kimmel said Bombaguia will breeze on turf tomorrow. With Edgar Prado expected to be out of town on July 13, either Irad Ortiz, Jr. or Rajiv Maragh will have the mount in the Man o’ War.

 


 

 

 

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