If Tonalist runs in the Belmont Stakes on June 7, trainer Christophe Clement won't mind if the track is wet.
The 3-year-old son of Tapit won his stakes debut easily on a sloppy track Saturday at Belmont Park, taking the Grade II, $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes by four lengths for jockey Joel Rosario. Commissioner finished second.
Tonalist hadn't raced since Feb. 22 at Gulfstream Park, where he finished second to Constitution, the winner of the Florida Derby five weeks later. After the race, Tonalist contracted a lung infection, which forced Clement to take him off the Kentucky Derby trail.
"I thought he was fit,'' said Clement, who trains Tonalist for Robert Evans. "The win is great. Let's see how the horse comes out of it, but of course we have to think about the Belmont Stakes. We're New York people and we're at Belmont.''
Tonalist, the favorite in a field of seven, ran 11/8 miles in 1:48.30. His second win in four starts was worth $120,000, raising his career total to $157,000.
"He was doing it easy, he was doing it on his own,'' Rosario said. "He's a big horse with a long stride . . . the more you ask, the more he'll give.''
'Chrome' to ship tomorrow. California Chrome galloped 1 3/4 miles on a sealed, wet track at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Derby winner is scheduled to be flown Monday to Baltimore for Saturday's Preakness Stakes.
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