Trainer Christophe Clement will saddle Big Everest and Swashbuckle for their stakes debuts in Friday’s $100,000 Allied Forces, a six-furlong Widener turf sprint for sophomores at Belmont Park.
Owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Steven Rocco and William Branch, the British-bred Big Everest garnered an 81 Beyer Speed Figure for a last-out maiden special weight score on July 23 traveling one-mile on the Saratoga Race Course turf.
With returning rider Joel Rosario up, the bay son of The Gurkha rallied from seventh to notch a 3 1/4-length score over firm going. Out of the graded-stakes placed Whywhywhy mare Long Face, Big Everest was purchased for $322,413 at the 2020 Goffs Arqana Breeze Up Sale.
“He was quite impressive when he broke his maiden,” said Clement assistant Christophe Lorieul. “He came off the pace and showed a great turn of foot. It might be a bit short for him but we hope that he can settle and make one big run.”
Jump Sucker Stable homebred Swashbuckle, a New York-bred son of Quality Road, graduated at first asking in October traveling 1 1/16-miles on the Belmont turf in a state-bred maiden event.
The dark bay colt won his seasonal debut sprinting seven furlongs against older state-bred allowance company in May on the Belmont turf, registering a career-best 80 Beyer. He followed with a close sixth, defeated less than three lengths, in a state-bred optional claimer traveling six furlongs on June 13 at Belmont.
Out of the multiple graded-stakes placed Rock of Gibraltar mare Sea Coast, Swashbuckle enters from a closing fourth in a 5 1/2-furlong state-bred optional-claimer contested over yielding Saratoga turf on July 21.
“According to the numbers, he fits right in there as well,” Lorieul said. “He’s doing great and we’re just keeping it short with him.”
Big Everest will exit post 6 under Rosario, while Eric Cancel retains the mount aboard Swashbuckle from post 8.
Sonata Stable’s Arzak, one of two entrants for trainer Michael Trombetta, arrives from a nose score over Allied Forces-rival Smokin’ Jay in the six-furlong Tom Ridge contested on the Presque Isle Downs synthetic on August 2.
The Not This Time bay, purchased for $575,000 at the OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, boasts a record of 5-1-1-1 over the turf, including an optional-claiming win in January at Tampa Bay Downs and stakes placings in the one-mile James W. Murphy [second] in May at Pimlico and the 5 1/2-furlong My Frenchman [third] over yielding Monmouth Park turf in July.
Ironhorse Racing Stable and Tami Bobo’s Momos, trained though his first seven starts by Clement, will make his first outing for Trombetta. The Distorted Humor chestnut, runner-up in the My Frenchman two starts back, enters from a fourth in the Mahony at 5 1/2-furlongs on the Saratoga turf on August 11.
Momos was multiple graded stakes placed as a 2-year-old, finishing third in both the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on dirt and the Grade 3 Futurity on the Belmont turf ahead of a seventh in the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint in November at Keeneland.
Irad Ortiz Jr. will guide Arzak from post 3, while Momos will emerge from post 2 under Hall of Famer John Velazquez.
West Point Thoroughbreds and Marvin Delfiner’s Jaxon Traveler has banked a field-best $390,210 while racing primarily on dirt for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.
The dark bay son of Munnings captured the Bachelor sprinting six furlongs over dirt at Oaklawn Park in April ahead of a second in the six-furlong Grade 3 Chick Lang in May on the Pimlico main track.
The versatile colt finished second in the six-furlong Woodstock in June over Tapeta at Woodbine Racetrack ahead of a strong third in the Grade 3 Quick Call in July sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs over good Saratoga turf.
The $140,000 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase enters from a three-length win in the Star De Naskra at six furlongs on the Pimlico main track on August 21.
Jose Ortiz will pilot Jaxon Traveler from post 7.
Rounding out the field are multiple stakes placed Three Two Zone [post 4, Kendrick Carmouche]; stakes-placed Smokin’ Jay [post 5, Luis Saez]; and maiden winner Ranger Fox [post 1, Javier Castellano].
The Allied Forces is slated as Race 7 on Friday’s nine-race card, which also features the $100,000 Christiecat at six furlongs on turf for sophomore fillies in Race 8. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
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