Summer Front was bottled up along the rail until inside the final sixteenth of a mile under Ramon Dominguez, then swung to the outside and accelerated quickly with an eye-catching turn of foot to take the Grade 3 Hill Prince at Belmont Park Saturday by a half-length over Howe Great. Film Shot finished another length back in third.
The 3-year-old colt by Claiborne Farm's Danzig stallion War Front out of Rose of Summer, by El Prado, is now unbeaten in his four grass starts for trainer Christophe Clement and Waterford Stable. His only two defeats came in the G3 Lexington Stakes when second to All Squared Away on Keeneland's Polytrack and a troubled eighth in the G2 Peter Pan in his most recent start on the Belmont main dirt track.
Favored at odds of 6-5, Summer Front covered the mile on firm turf in 1:33.74. Bred by Graceville Breeding, Summer Front was sold by Niall Brennan, agent, for $475,000 at the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training. Bloodstock agent Steven Young signed the ticket to purchase the colt.
Quotes, courtesy New York Racing Association media office
Christophe Clement, winning trainer of Summer Front (No. 1): “The great thing is that Ramon was so confident. He worked that horse last Sunday and he worked him behind another horse. Ramon has always liked that horse and has great confidence in him and obviously knew he was going to get there because he never panicked. He was so cool. That's the problem with the one draw: sometimes you take the risk of being boxed in, but I'm a firm believer in saving ground, anyway. I was concerned. He [was] riding, not me, so there's nothing I can do.”
“The last time we won this race was with Gio Ponti [in 2008], so we're obviously going to think about the Virginia Derby [Grade 2, July 21, Colonial Downs] a little bit. That's what we did, and it worked. I don't like to compare [Summer Front and Gio Ponti] too much, but it worked in the past. We'll have to think about it again. I've always liked my horse. I messed up by running him in theLexington and Peter Pan, but I had to try because he really trained well on dirt and it'd be a mistake not to try.”
Ramon Dominguez, winning jockey aboard Summer Front (No. 1): “Turning for home, I was concerned about being on the inside. Unfortunately, I had no choice. The one thing that I was very happy about was the way my horse was handling himself. He was on the bridle where he was going to really go, and sure enough when I got him out, he did. A move like that always takes a lot of horse out of you, and I was very impressed with him.”
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