Conformist rolls to Ontario County victory

Monday, June 28th, 2021

Conformist flies to the finish of Monday’s Ontario County at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

By Tom Law

Conformist avoided a close call between rivals at the start and rolled to an 11-length victory in his second start off the claim in Monday’s $50,000 Ontario County Stakes at Finger Lakes.

A $30,000 claim by My Purple Haze Stables and trainer Chris Englehart out of a 6-furlong open-company sprint Feb. 25 at Aqueduct, Conformist improved to 2-for-7 in the Ontario County for New York-bred 3-year-olds.

Sent off the 3-5 favorite in the field of six, the Hit It a Bomb gelding came away clean from the gate after balking a bit during the loading process. He avoided a squeeze at the start when Penn National shipper Here’s Waldo broke sharp and came out while Florida Endeavour came in.

Conformist came away clean from that squeeze and led Florida Endeavour and Gonna Be Dancing through the opening quarter in :22.96. John Davila Jr. and Conformist continued to lead through the half in :46.41 with only Florida Endeavour within a chance coming off the turn.

The leaders poured it on from there, widening the lead with each stride on the way to an easy win in 1:12.80. The winning time in the co-featured opening stakes of the Finger Lakes season topped the 1:13.15 clocking by A Life That’s Good, trained by Chris Englehart’s son Jeremiah, in the earlier Niagara Stakes for sophomore state-bred fillies.

Florida Endeavour, a son of Central Banker who won back-to-back starts 14 days apart in May to open the Finger Lakes meeting, held second and just ahead of Here’s Waldo in third and A Huge Checkpoint in fourth.

Bred by Scott and Debbie Pierce, foaled at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs and a $40,000 purchase as a weanling by Summerplace at the 2018 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, Conformist is out of the winning Raven’s Pass mare Cravin Raven. The Ontario County marked Conformist’s first win since his debut Oct. 30 against open company for a $40,000 tag for Summerplace and trainer Eddie Kenneally at Churchill Downs. He was claimed out of that race by Robert Bone and trainer Rob Atras.

Conformist started four times for Bone and Atras, the best efforts back-to-back thirds in starter optional events Dec. 31 and Jan. 16 at Aqueduct. He also finished third in the Feb. 25 race when Englehart dropped a claim slip.

Conformist is the second foal out of Cravin Raven. Her first foal, the Kentucky-bred Alcindor gelding bred by the Pierce’s Omega Farm, won one of seven starts. Cravin Raven, sold in foal to Central Banker for $25,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale, subsequently produced a colt by New York’s leading sire in Ireland. He sold for $43,920 to Durcan Bloodstock and Satish Seemar at this year’s Tattersalls Guineas Breeze-Up Sale in Newmarket. Cravin Raven is also the dam of a yearling Irish-bred colt by Acclamation.

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