February 5, 2023

Mutamakina leads Clement brigade in Long Island

Mutamakina wins the Long Island Stakes (Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand)

Long Island S. (G3) — Race 9 (3:43 p.m. ET)

Mutamakina will enter her title defense of Saturday’s $400,000 Long Island S. (G3) at Aqueduct in great form for trainer Christophe Clement.

Victorious a year ago after overcoming a dreadfully slow pace going 1 3/8 miles, Mutamakina is riding a two-race win streak into Saturday’s 1 1/2-mile renewal. After dropping her first three outings of the year in New York, Mutamakina went north to Woodbine, in Canada, for a confidence boost. She landed both the Dance Smartly (G2) and E.P. Taylor (G1), thus making her a leading candidate for Sovereign Award honors in the turf female division.

“She’s never trained so well than when she came back from Canada. Her last couple of works have been remarkable and I’m excited to run her back,” Clement said.

Stablemate La Dragontea also gave the Clement stable a big win at Woodbine this fall, taking the Canadian (G2) in September by a length. She fell a neck short of catching Mutamakina in the E.P. Taylor when trailing behind an obscenely-slow pace for 1 1/4 miles.

The third cog in the Clement wheel is Sorrel, who makes only her second U.S. appearance since her importation from Britain. She last raced eight months ago in the Orchid (G3) at Gulfstream Park, where she finished third behind War Like Goddess, a leading candidate for champion turf female honors.

“She ran very well that day, she could have won with a better trip,” Clement said. “We gave her plenty of time and she’s come back well.”

Summer in Saratoga and Luck Money enter off a one-two finish in the Dowager (G3) at Keeneland, while Grade 3 veteran Orglandes recently captured the Zagora S. by a neck for Chad Brown.

Discovery S. — Race 8 (3:14 p.m. ET)

Although downgraded since last year, the long-standing $150,000 Discovery S. has attracted an interesting field of three-year-olds that will travel 1 1/8 miles. Bourbonic, upset winner of the Wood Memorial (G2) in April, is the most noted participant, but betting figures to revolve around Miles D, who ran third in the Travers (G1) two back, and dual allowance winner Speaker’s Corner.

Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship — Race 10 (4:13 p.m. ET)

Arrest Me Red, the three-year-old winner of the Belmont Turf Sprint (G3) in early October, is the potential favorite to run off with the $150,000 Aqueduct equivalent over six furlongs. The Wesley Ward trainee was entered and scratched from the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Del Mar earlier this month, thus avoided a pummeling dished out by stablemate Golden Pal.

Turned Aside, who captured this race last year, enters off a close second in the Nearctic (G2) at Woodbine. The field also includes the Belmont Turf Sprint second and third Pulsate and Chewing Gum, and the Chad Brown-trained Value Proposition, who’s won back-to-back stakes at Monmouth and Belmont.

Central Park S. — Race 7 (2:43 p.m. ET)

The first stakes of the day, the $100,000 Central Park S. for two-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, features a rematch between General Ken and Geno, who were separated by a nose in the Nov. 5 Awad S. at Belmont. Trust Daddy stretches out after running second in the six-furlong Atlantic Beach S., while Sy Dog steps up in class off a convincing four-length debut win over seven furlongs for Graham Motion.