Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
An impressive come-from-behind maiden winner at Gulfstream Park on
Jan. 18, promising 3-year-old colt Tonalist
is gearing up for his return
to the races.
The bay son of Tapit returned to the work tab for the first time
since his victory with a five-furlong breeze in 1:04 at Payson Park for
trainer Christophe Clement.
“It was a nice, easy maintenance work,” Clement said. “There are two
or three options over the next few weeks. It’s too early right now to
decide. I’ll work him back next weekend and then I will make my mind up
after that. There is an allowance, there are some stakes. We’ve got
many, many choices. My gut feeling is to go back in an
Owned by Robert Evans, Tonalist rallied five wide for a four-length
victory in a nine-furlong maiden special weight event around two turns
at Gulfstream, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.
The effort came two months after his debut where he ran fourth,
beaten four lengths in a one-mile maiden race at Aqueduct under jockey
Joel Rosario. He was replaced by Joe Bravo at Gulfstream.
“He’s a lovely horse. He’s always been a lovely horse,” Clement said.
“He ran a very good race as a 2-year-old at Aqueduct. I was very
disappointed that the jockey didn’t stick on him at Gulfstream, but that
happens. He had certainly trained very well before his last race. We
don’t have many 3-year-olds by Tapit in the barn; he’s the only one. You
have to be very excited.”
Best known for his suceess with grass horses, Clement went down the
Triple Crown trail in 2003 with Dynever, who won the Lone Star Derby
(G3) and finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes (G1). That year, he was
also third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita.
“The dam [Settling Mist] is by Pleasant Colony, so he’s got all the
makings of a horse who should stay long on the dirt,” Clement said. “His
maiden was very impressive. If you believe in numbers, his numbers were
very good. The last good colt I had was Dynever, and he was good to us.
Let’s hope [Tonalist] can have a career.”