04/30/2017 5:17PM

Portmagee gives Clement sweep of weekend's turf stakes in License Fee

Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Portmagee, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., wins the License Fee by 1 1/2 lengths.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Christophe won the Elusive Quality, a seven-furlong turf race Saturday, with Disco Partner who looped his field from last position. On Sunday, in the $150,000 License Fee, a six-furlong grass stakes for fillies and mares, he sent out Portmagee, who went right to the lead and was never headed while winning by 1 1/2 lengths.

Portmagee, a 4-year-old daughter of Hard Spun, had made only four prior starts and was the most lightly raced runner in the six-horse field. She came into the License Fee off a first-level optional-claiming victory at Gulfstream Park and was making her stakes debut.

"We didn't think she was necessarily going to win today but we expected her to be competitive," Clement said, "We've always thought she was going to be a nice filly."

Portmagee grabbed the lead leaving the gate and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. was able to set reasonable fractions of 22.62 and 45.31 seconds over a course which has been playing quick. She was tracked by Miss Ella along the inside and Summer Reading. Fair Point the even-money favorite, raced a close-up fourth.

In the stretch, Miss Ella attempted to come up inside Portmagee but was unable to cut into her margin. Portmagee was timed in 1:08.71 and covered her final quarter-mile in a racehorse 23.40 seconds.

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Summer Reading finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Miss Ella. It was another three-quarters of a length back to Fair Point in fourth.

Portmagee, who races for Waterville Lake Stable, paid $16.60 as the fifth betting choice. She is now 3 for 5 in her career.

Fair Point and Miss Ella, who traded stakes wins last year while finishing one-two to each other at Saratoga and Keeneland, were both coming off layoffs of about six months.