11/28/2012 1:25PM

Calder: Havant gives Clement good shot at fifth La Prevoyante victory

Tom Keyser
Hollinger tops the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap on Friday.

MIAMI – Christophe Clement has already won Calder’s Grade 3 La Prevoyante Handicap four times and appears to be in pretty good position to make it a full handful when he sends out Havant as the co-highweight in Friday’s Grade 3 La Prevoyante at Calder.

The La Prevoyante highlights closing day of the Tropical meeting and the long Calder racing season, which began April 9. The 1 1/2-mile La Prevoyante shares top billing on Friday’s 12-race program along with the Grade 3 Tropical Park Turf Handicap, which features the Grade 1-placed Hollinger, who finished third in the 2011 renewal of the event.

Action on the south Florida circuit moves across town to Gulfstream Park on Saturday.

Clement won his four La Prevoyantes during an eight-year period that began in 1992 with Sardaniya and ended in 1999 when Coretta captured the event for the second straight time. His bid for a fifth La Prevoyante will rest on the shoulders of the 4-year-old Havant, an English-bred and -raced daughter of Halling whose only previous start in this country came for trainer Freddie Head and resulted in a fifth-place finish in Woodbine’s Grade 1 E.P. Taylor on Oct. 14.

Havant remained behind in North America following the E.P. Taylor and has had her final preparations for the La Prevoyante at Clement’s winter home at Payson Park.

“At one stage of her career, she was a very well thought of horse in England,” said Clement referring to the fact Havant won both her starts at 2, including a Group 3 race at Newmarket in her juvenile finale. “But then she got sick after that. She’s a very good looking filly and a very good mover. I didn’t train her when she made her only start in the U.S., but she finished very nicely after being well back in the pack and she should like 1 1/2 miles.”

Clement said he has only one real concern on Friday and that is the condition of the turf course.

“I’m worried the course is a little too cut up right now and she might not care for it,” Clement said.

Clarinet will share high weight of 117 pounds with Havant in the La Prevoyante. Clarinet also made her last start at Woodbine, where she captured the 1 1/2-mile Flaming Page Stakes on Sept. 29. The win was the first for the Giant’s Causeway mare since joining trainer Josie Carroll’s barn during the summer.

Ciao Bella, one of three 3-year-olds in the field along with Closing Range and Peekablue Sue, was beaten less than length trying 1 1/2 miles for the first time in Keeneland’s Dowager on Oct. 21. She finished fourth in the Grade 1 Garden City at 1 1/8 miles five weeks earlier.

My Pal Chrisy registered a one-sided victory over the main course in defense of her title earlier this month in the Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap. She was well beaten, however, in her only previous start on grass, which came this spring at Churchill Downs.

Clement also will be well represented in the 1 1/8-mile Tropical Turf Handicap with Philly Ace, who has captured three of his last five tries including the Alphabet Soup Handicap against Pennsylvania-breds at Parx Racing on Sept. 22. Philly Ace finished third behind Boisterous trying to go 1 3/8 miles for the first time four weeks ago in the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap.

“He did not stay the mile and three-eighths in the Red Smith and needs shorter,” Clement said. “This will be his last race for a while. We’ll give him one more shot to win a stakes and then he’ll get some time off.”

Hollinger, who will tote high weight of 118 pounds in the Tropical Turf, finished second in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap when last competing in south Florida on Feb. 11. Trained by Roger Attfield, who also entered Good Better Best in the Tropical Turf, Hollinger is winless on the season but did finish third, beaten just a neck, in Woodbine’s Grade 2 King Edward early this summer.

Trainer Kathleen O’Connell brings a former Clement pupil, Dannhauser, to Calder for the first time Friday. Dannhauser has won two of his last three tries, including the 1 1/2-mile Laurel Turf Cup.

Other key contenders in the Tropical Turf are the Grade 1-placed Citrus Kid, the multiple-graded-stakes-placed Sleepless Knight, and the locally based three-time stakes winner Empire Builder.