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Summer Front Has Clement Excited


Trainer Christophe Clement may be best known for his turf runners – three-time Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti, multiple Grade 1 winner Winchester, multiple graded stakes winner Rutherienne are among his recent grass stars – but on Saturday the trainer will saddle promising 3-year-old Summer Front in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes, a local prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 9. The son of War Front won his first three career starts, all on turf and including two stakes, before finishing 1 ½ lengths behind All Squared Away in the Grade 3 Coolmore Lexington over Keeneland’s artificial surface on April 21. 


“I’m excited about him,” Clement said. “He’s been training very well and he looks very well. I’ve got a small question mark because I’ve never run him on dirt, that’s the big deal, but we’ve got to try him, and we’ll see what happens. It’s a good race, plenty of speed. As long as we get a good reading, that’s all I want – a good reading so we can decide what to do after that.”


Clement added that he would take his time with recent turf maiden winner Antonia Autumn, a three-quarter sister to Gio Ponti, who won at first asking on April 29 at Belmont Park.


“She’s come back from the race a little bit stiff, so I just want to give her a bit of time,” said Clement. “I do not want to rush her. She’s not going to run right away, I’ll give her some time and bring her back quietly in June. I was impressed by the race, and I want to be sure we do the right thing by the filly. The way she won the other day, I will be disappointed if she does not turn out to be a stakes filly, I just think we have to give her the time to get her there. That’s the plan.”



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