Gloriana Wins Over a Mile at Tampa Bay Downs
Helping to celebrate the holiday season in style, Nelson Clemmens’ homebred Gloriana stalked the early pace before getting through on the rail and winning a one-mile race on the turf at Tampa Bay Downs on December 22.
Sent off the 3-1 favorite, the three-year-old Gloriana won for the first time going a mile after scoring her initial victory over 5 ½ furlongs on the Polytrack at Turfway Park last year.
The daughter of Horse Chestnut, trained by Tom Proctor, crossed the finish line in 1:36.79 on the course rated firm under the handling of jockey Daniel Centeno. She defeated Rakehellish by a head as With Gratitude finished third, another 1 ¼ lengths back in the field of ten.
Clemmens bred Gloriana from his mare Firm Affair, a daughter of Colonial Affair out of Firm Inquisition, by Affirmed. Firm Affair delivered a filly by Ghostzapper in 2012 and is back in foal to Street Hero.
About three weeks after Gloriana’s win, her younger half sister by Pure Prize, named Faerie Queene, displayed a quick turn of foot in her career debut on January 13 while rallying from far back early to take third in a maiden race at Gulfstream Park at odds of 36-1. Faerie Queene races for Martha Fisher and Bates Stable and is trained by Larry Bates.
Homebred Megnog Registers Keeneland Victory
Displaying a new dimension of ability, AmWest founder Nelson Clemmens’ homebred Megnog won her first start on a synthetic surface after tracking the leaders and rallying strongly at Keeneland Race Course on October 12.
The victory also marked the first at 1 1/16 miles for the three-year-old daughter of Northern Afleet out of the Top Account mare Blue Northern.
Jockey Corey Lanerie guided Megnog through a perfect trip, saving ground on the inside while rating off the pace early and then rallying around the far turn to split rivals and gain the win by one length over Dream Pegasus. Megnog crossed the finish line in 1:45.76 while winning her second consecutive race for Lanerie and trainer Tom Proctor.
Clemmens was on hand to greet Megnog in the winner’s circle, where he was joined by friends including Carlie Ambrose of Equibase Co. and Marie Perdue of HRTV.
Running in the name of Clemmens’ wife, Judy Clemmens, Megnog was claimed from the race by trainer Joe Davis for Peter McFarland. In eight starts for Clemmens, Megnog compiled a record of three wins with three placings, and she increased her career bankroll to $41,999 with the Keeneland score.
The bay filly has now won on turf and synthetic surfaces and has placed on dirt. She has won from 6 ½ furlongs to 1 1/16 miles.
There will be more to look forward to in the future as Blue Northern produced a promising colt by dual European classic winner Henrythenavigator this spring for Clemmens.
Megnog Returns to Action with a Flourish
Making her first start in about six months and her first for new trainer Tom Proctor, Megnog swooped five-wide to snare her second career victory in a 6 ½-furlong turf sprint at Kentucky Downs on September 10.
The three-year-old daughter of Northern Afleet defeated older fillies and mares while confidently ridden by Corey Lanerie as the fourth choice in the field of eight.
Megnog was bred by AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens from his Top Account mare Blue Northern, a half sister to multiple Grade 2 winner, millionaire and sire Western Pride.
The versatile filly, who won for the first time last February in a Tampa Bay Downs maiden event at one mile and 70 yards on turf, also has placed three times while competing in the name of Clemmens’ wife, Judy, including an effort on the dirt at Churchill Downs in 2011.
One of many runners campaigned by Clemmens and his wife who is named after family members or friends, Megnog is a tribute their niece, Megan Nogalski, who has attended several runnings of the Kentucky Derby (G1) with them.
When Megnog won at Kentucky Downs, Megan Nogalski posted to her Facebook page a photo of a video screen showing the results, including the $11.80 win payoff returned by her namesake.
Clemmens also bred and raced Megnog’s five-year-old full brother Torvald, who has been retired and is now enjoying a new career as a show hunter.
Earlier this year, Blue Northern produced a handsome colt by Irish and English classic winner and leading freshman sire Henrythenavigator for Clemmens at Longfield Farm in Goshen, Kentucky.
Two Maiden Wins Scored on Ellis Park Turf
A pair of well-bred three-year-olds garnered their first career victories during the summer meeting at Ellis Park, with the filly Venus de Milo recording a professional maiden special weight win on August 31 and the colt Le Chevalier romping wire to wire a week earlier.
Trainer Tom Proctor sent out both winners for the Stone Spire III stable managed by AmWest Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens, with jockey Jesus Castanon steering both to the finish line.
Venus de Milo, a dark bay daughter of El Corredor, has proven a consistent and game competitor this season, recording three seconds prior to her win, with two of those on the dirt at Churchill Downs. Switched to the grass, she was second again in her first effort and then powered clear as the favorite to capture the 5 ½-furlong Ellis maiden event by 1 ½ lengths over Twinkle Littlestar in 1:03.24 on a course rated firm.
A $35,000 Keeneland yearling purchase, Venus de Milo made one start at two in a dirt race at Ellis Park in which she encountered trouble, hit the rail and lost her rider. She was given time off to recover from that incident, which left her with some minor scrapes, and she did not return to action until this spring.
Venus de Milo was bred in Kentucky by Liberation Farm & Oratis from the Candy Stripes mare Just Kiss Me Quick, a daughter of Grade 1 winner A Kiss for Luck.
Le Chevalier, another $35,000 Keeneland acquisition, burst out of the gate in his Ellis maiden win, opening up an early eight-length lead and proving uncatchable over the one-mile distance of the race. The gray son of Broken Vow crossed the finish line in 1:36.60 on the firm turf, two lengths in front of runner-up Roheryn.
Bred in Kentucky by the French-based Haras du Mezeray S.A., Le Chevalier—whose name means The Knight in French—is out of the With Approval mare Orellana, a half sister to Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner and sire Artie Schiller.
Le Chevalier’s second dam is Hidden Light, winner of the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) and Hollywood Oaks (G1) and a daughter of multiple Grade 1 winner Tallahto; this is the direct female family of multiple champion Vagrancy and her multiple Grade 1-winning daughter Vulcania, tracing tail-female to foundation mare Frizette.
Silver Wings Flies to Gulfstream Park Victory
Capping a highly productive winter for runners owned by AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens, Silver Wings gamely dueled down the Gulfstream Park stretch to win a $26,000 maiden race over 1 1/16 miles on February 24.
Jockey Rajiv Maragh gave Silver Wings a perfect ride, keeping the three-year-old Badge of Silver colt just off the early pace set by longshot Lands N Traditions. Silver Wings seized the lead coming out of the far turn and Maragh guided him toward the middle of the track, floating rival Sokitumi Samurai a bit wide.
The pair battled the length of the stretch and Silver Wings refused to yield, prevailing at the wire by a head. Trained by Buff Bradley, the chestnut colt stopped the clock in 1:45.35.
A $40,000 purchase at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, Silver Wings is out of the Major Impact mare Mattie Kate, a half sister to Broodmare of the Year Baby Zip, who produced Horse of the Year Ghostzapper and City Zip.
Silver Wings races for Stone Spire III, a partnership managed by Clemmens, and the colt’s win marked one of a quartet celebrated within a month.
Homebred three-year-old filly Megnog earned her maiden win in her fourth career start by rallying from sixth early on the Tampa Bay Downs turf on February 3. Although Megnog raced under the wire second to Lil Miss Tweety, track stewards ruled she had been interfered with in the stretch run and declared her the winner.
Time for the one mile and 70 yards on a firm course was 1:36.87.
By Northern Afleet out of the Top Account mare Blue Northern, Megnog was ridden to victory by Daniel Coa. Also trained by Bradley while racing in the name of Clemmens’ wife Judy, the filly has been very consistent, having placed in two of her previous starts.
Megnog has a two-year-old full sister named Oh My Gypsy Soul who currently is in training at Sienna Farms near Ocala, Florida, with Art Fisher. The fillies’ dam is a half sister to millionaire and multiple Grade 2 winner Western Pride.
On January 27, Big Whiskey No Ice recorded the most visually impressive win by the stable when he moved up from mid-pack to gain the lead and then draw off in an eight-length tour de force over 1 1/16 miles on a wet-fast Tampa Bay main track.
Ridden by Willie Martinez, Big Whiskey No Ice covered the distance in 1:47.36. The $15,000 Keeneland yearling was making his first start in about six months and thus appears to have lots of potential for more strong races this season under Bradley’s tutelage.
Big Whiskey No Ice is a gelded son of Yankee Gentleman out of multiple stakes winner and Grade 2-placed Tiffany Diamond, by Tiffany Ice.
Just a day before Big Whiskey No Ice’s stirring run, Positively Paige—who is named after Clemmens’ sister—left the racing stage in the best possible way, as a winner.
Starting for the 14th time, the four-year-old Chief Seattle filly raced in third, just off the early pace, prior to moving up three-wide and motoring home to win a 5 ½-furlong event at Turfway Park by three-quarters of a length under Victor Lebron.
The win was the second by Positively Paige, following her maiden victory over Turfway’s Polytrack in September. Positively Paige also placed three times—twice at Ellis Park and once at Turfway.
Positively Paige will be retrained for a new career this spring.
Janou Dazzles at Churchill, Registers Sixth Career Win
Janou, a five-year-old mare bred in Kentucky by AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens and racing for his wife, Judy Clemmens, electrified her connections with four-wide rally that resulted in a six-length win at Churchill Downs in November.
The victory marked the sixth time that Janou has visited a winner’s circle in a career that began with a win in her debut at Churchill three years ago. Altogether, the daughter of Mutakkdim has notched four of her triumphs at the historic Louisville track, with her other wins achieved at Gulfstream and Ellis Parks.
Trained by William “Buff” Bradley, Janou has earned $110,258 to date. She was ridden in her latest Churchill victory by Jon Court, who recorded a milestone 400th career win at the track during the fall meet. Court is the 17th rider to reach that landmark at Churchill Downs.
Janou was produced the Colonial Affair mare Firm Affair. Clemmens also bred and owns Janou’s younger half sisters, a yearling by Pure Prize and a two-year-old by Horse Chestnut named Gloriana who won at Turfway Park on September 18 while also ridden by Court.
Young Homebred Fillies Find Winning Strides
Two fillies bred by AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens and racing in the name of his wife, Judy, recorded wins this autumn in Kentucky.
Gloriana, a two-year-old by Horse Chestnut out of the Colonial Affair mare Firm Affair, won in just her third start while validating her promise for the future.
Ridden by Jon Court in a 5 ½-furlong dash on Polytrack at Turfway Park, Gloriana bumped with Peekaboo Slew at the start but gained a good position in the middle of the nine-horse field through the first half-mile. With a strong rally between rivals, Gloriana spurted away to win by 1 ¼ lengths as the second choice, crossing the finish line in 1:07.51.
In her previous effort, Gloriana had finished third in a 5 ½-furlong race at Ellis Park. Her record currently stands at a win and a third in three career starts.
Positively Paige, a three-year-old New York-bred by Chief Seattle out of Allie’s Hope by Just a Cat, also closed from off the pace in her six-furlong win at Turfway.
Sent off the strong favorite in the field of 12 maidens after three promising runs at Ellis Park and Turfway, Positively Paige rated close behind the early pace of :23.04 and :47.22 before surging four-wide and catching leader Go Sees. Prevailing by a half-length under jockey Victor Lebron, Positively Paige stopped the clock in 1:12.56.
Both fillies are trained by William “Buff” Bradley, who is currently based at Churchill Downs. Positively Paige worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 at Churchill on November 12 as she prepares for her next race.
Stable Runners Hot in July Racing at Ellis Park
Horses bred by AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens are heating up along with the July temperatures at Ellis Park.
Lady Wynne, a five-year-old mare by Regal Classic out of the Just a Cat mare Allie’s Hope, scored a determined victory in a one-mile turf event on July 10 after battling the entire trip with runner-up Bell of Buddha.
The victory marked the fourth in the career of Lady Wynne, who began racing with a triumph in her debut at three at Turfway Park in 2009 and won two races last year, one at Ellis and one at Turfway.
Lady Wynne races for Clemmens’ wife, Judy Clemmens, and is trained by William “Buff” Bradley. John McKee was in the irons for her most recent win.
Just five days after Lady Wynne’s visit to the winner’s circle, her half sister Positively Paige rallied from just off the pace to gain a lead in the stretch of a 5 ½-furlong dash on the Ellis turf only to be caught in the final stride by Dazzle Her, who prevailed by whiskers. Positively Paige is a three-year-old by Chief Seattle, who, like Lady Wynne, was bred in New York.
With AmWest headquartered in Prospect, Kentucky, Clemmens is a firm supporter of Kentucky racing and was delighted to greet his friend, Ellis Park owner and president Ron Geary, in the winner’s circle after Lady Wynne’s effort.
Demure Halo Shines in Churchill Downs Victory
Boldly rallying between rivals under a confident ride from Corey Lanerie, Demure Halo notched the first win of her career on June 26 in a seven-furlong maiden race at Churchill Downs.
Owned by AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens, Demure Halo gave Lanerie his 40th winner of the Churchill meet while marking the 14th win of the season for trainer Eddie Kenneally.
After breaking from post two, Demure Halo rated kindly off the early pace set by Fleet Classic, who faced keen pressure from favored Inazuma. That duo sped through the first half-mile in fractions of :22.93 and :46.92 before beginning to tire from their efforts.
Looming just behind the leaders as they stretched out across the track for the final furlongs, Demure Halo and Lanerie waited for an opening before bursting through to gain the lead. The three-year-old daughter of Quiet American out of six-time stakes winner Mocita, by Boundary, “quickly cleared” her eight rivals, according to the official chart of the race.
Demure Halo crossed the finish line in 1:24.30 for the seven furlongs on a fast track and finished three lengths in front of runner-up Magik, with Pure Victory another two lengths back in third.
Bred by Silverleaf Farms in Florida, Demure Halo is the first foal out of Mocita, who this year produced a filly by Bluegrass Cat.
A Bon Vivant Beginning for Stone Spire III
A very promising group of juveniles aimed at racing this year for Stone Spire III, a partnership formed by AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens, was led to the starting gate on June 25 by Marco’s Bon Vivant, a handsome chestnut colt by Hard Spun.
After drawing the outside post in a field of 11 and waiting while several of the two-year-olds in the $58,490 maiden special weight event on grass acted up behind the starting gate, Marco’s Bon Vivant broke a step slowly. Jockey Jaime Theriot let the colt settle in the early running as Black Rhino zipped to the early lead through fractions of :22.52 and :45.74 on a course rated firm.
Marco’s Bon Vivant found his best stride as the field went around the far turn and he raced down the stretch in traffic before galloping out ahead of all his rivals. The effort pleased Theriot, who said the colt would improve for the experience, and trainer William “Buff” Bradley.
Black Rhino, one of three in the field who had previously raced, won and Marco’s Bon Vivant finished sixth. Time for the five furlongs was :57.80.
Bradley said he expected Marco’s Bon Vivant, who emerged from the race in good order, to make his next start during the Ellis Park meeting that begins on July 2.
Produced by the multiple stakes winning Star de Naskra mare Staraway, an earner of $464,735, Marco’s Bon Vivant is a half brother to Sander Camillo, who won the Cherry Hinton (G2) and Albany (G3) Stakes in England. Originally sold as a two-year-old for $500,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Calder sale, Sander Camillo was sold at the 2007 Tattersalls December sale for approximately $6.9-million.