Triple Crown Threat Tonalist Gets Them Talking
Triple Crown Threat Tonalist Gets Them Talking: Tonalist is giving them something to talk about at Belmont Park as the three-year-old colt puts in his final preps for the 146th Running of the Belmont Stakes on June 7, 2014. The Christophe Clement trained three-year-old Tonalist was mentioned by Billy Turner, the only living winning Triple Crown trainer with Seattle Slew in 1977, as a potential threat to California Chrome’s Triple Crown victory.
Just days away from entering the Belmont Stakes starting gate, Tonalist and Wicked Strong have impressed handicappers and fans alike. Billy Turner commented, “I think it’s going to be a great race. I really do. California Chrome is the outstanding horse of the crop. The only question you have is, will he get the mile and a half? He certainly appears to be the best of the three-year-old crop, no question, but a mile and a half can be a little bit strange, and we have a few horses in there who will get the mile and a half. Tonalist was very impressive in the Peter Pan, and Wicked Strong has been training like a monster of a horse, and Wicked Strong is bred to run that far.”
World famous trainer Christophe Clement trains Tonalist, who is named after a type of American Impressionism art. Christophe Clement told Lady and The Track via email that Tonalist has what it takes to compete in the 2014 Belmont Stakes saying, “We are glad to be part of the Belmont Stakes this year. Tonalist has been very straightforward to train at Belmont Park.” Christophe Clement added, “Tonalist is a pleasure to be around. He is a credit to his owner Mr. Robert Evans who has been very patient with him.”
And patient they have been. Tonalist sat out key Kentucky Derby prep races due to a lung infection only to come back strong by winning the Peter Pan Stakes on May 10, 2014 with jockey Joel Rosario. Tonalist has only raced a total of four times throughout his career, which makes winning the 2014 Belmont Stakes seem like an easy feat against those who wearily traveled the Triple Crown Trail.
Tonalist put in his final work at Belmont Park on Saturday, May 31st and was clocked at 1:00.11 at five furlongs with stable-mate Life In Shambles. Trainer Christophe Clement reported, “We are excited about the work and excited about the horse. I got him in a minute and am very happy about everything. He went in company with Life in Shambles and it was a good work.”
Tonalist teams up with jockey Joel Rosario for the 146th Running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The third and final jewel of the Triple Crown has an approximate post time of 6:52 PM ET.
Tonalist Photo Gallery Coglianese/NYRA, Lauren King and Susie Raisher: