Peter Deutsch’s Summer Breezing, an improving 3-year-old half-brother to New York-bred stakes-winner Adirondack Summer, won the open co-featured $90,000 Tiller overnight stakes on Belmont’s Sunday card to secure a first stakes victory for trainer Christophe Clement in his fifth career start.
Transitioning from Keeneland’s Polytrack, where he romped against allowance foes on April 7, back to turf where he broke his maiden, Summer Breezing was the .55-1 favorite at post time to beat six rivals in the seven-furlong sprint in the on the Widener turf. He didn’t disappoint his backers, but didn’t have one-hundred percent smooth sailing either.
Out of the gate with good early speed from post one under Jose Lezcano, Summer Breezing was just outrun by Mr. Prankster to his outside, which left him in tight at the rail up the backstretch run. A half-mile out Summer Breezing checked, and then stumbled slightly off heels as Mr. Prankster moved to the rail.
Switching to the outside, regrouping and regaining momentum by the time the field entered the far turn, Summer Breezing dueled a game Mr. Prankster in upper stretch before overtaking him around the furlong marker. As Summer Breezing opened up in the final furlong, Margano, a full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner and Kentucky Derby hero Barbaro, closed like a rocket to get second by a neck, leaving Mr. Prankster to settle for the show. After a first half-mile run in 46.24, and three-quarters in 1:08.66, Summer Breezing stopped the clock at 1:20.72.
Summer Breezing broke his maiden last November at first asking going 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Aqueduct for Clement. Steadily improving this year in the Beyer department from the 59 he received for his debut to a 94 last out, he finished a well-beaten fifth in his sophomore debut in the Sweet Envoy on the Aqueduct inner track in February, ran a close-up fourth when he returned to the turf at Gulfstream Park in March and overwhelmed allowance company at Keeneland last out, winning by 10-plus lengths. The colt now has three wins from five starts and has earned $111,355.
A bay son of Langfuhr, Summer Breezing was bred by Sarah J. Leigh, and foaled at Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains. He is one of three New York-bred winners out of Summer Solstice (IRE), a daughter of Caerleon, including stakes winner and five-time stakes performer Adirondack Summer, also owned by Deutsch and trained by Clement ($145,350).
Summer Solstice is a half-sister to Act One, a multiple Group 1 winner in France. She has two more Group 1-placed siblings and was a blacktype winner in France in her own right. She came to the United States in 2000, where she raced for two seasons before being bred. Currently Summer Solstice has a yearling filly by Arch.