04/29/2017 5:33PM

Disco Partner dances to victory in Elusive Quality Stakes

NYRA photo
Disco Partner paid $7.80 in winning the Elusive Quality Stakes at Belmont.

Christophe Clement has trained the premier turf sprinter Pure Sensation for owner-breeders Frank and Patricia Generazio since 2013. He took over the conditioning of their other top turf sprinter, Disco Partner, in March.

The two give Clement a strong one-two punch as the East Coast turf season gets underway. While Pure Sensation is fast, Disco Partner does his best work from off the pace.

Disco Partner, a 5-year-old New York-bred, turned the $100,000 Elusive Quality Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday into a one-sided affair while making his debut for Clement. Last early in the seven-furlong grass race, he looped his six rivals en route to a 1 3/4-length victory.

While the early fractions in the Elusive Quality were modest - 23.75 and 47.66 - Disco Partner powered home through quicker splits. He took the lead in midstretch and stopped the timer in 1:22.61, while covering his final furlong in 11.61 seconds. The final three furlongs of the race went in 34.95 and Disco Partner was well off the pace leaving the three-furlong pole.

Disco Partner paid $7.80 as the favorite. The Elusive Quality was his first race since November. He has now won six of 16 career starts.

"He was very impressive today," Clement said. "They went fairly slow up front and Irad [Ortiz] gave him a perfect trip to put himself in a position to win."

Eight-year-old Kharafa, a 12-time winner of more than $1 million, was forwardly placed along the inside throughout the Elusive Quality and finished second, a head better than Siding Spring. The Elusive Quality was Kharafa's first start since last fall, and he should improve moving forward at longer distances.

The next turf sprint stakes on the New York circuit is the Grade 3 Jaipur at six furlongs on the June 10 Belmont Stakes undercard. A year ago, front-running Pure Sensation held off late-running Disco Partner to win the Jaipur by a head.

A Generazio exacta could be in the making again this year as Purse Sensation has recorded six workouts since March 26 and is scheduled to begin his 6-year-old season in the Grade 3 Twin Spires Turf Sprint on the Kentucky Oaks undercard next Friday.

That would give Purse Sensation, who is 7 for 19 and closing in on $1 million in earnings, five weeks until the Jaipur.