Chalon sharp in Primonetta score

Chalon 001Chalon started her 4-year-old season for new connections the same way she ended her 3-year-old season for her old camp – with a very sharp dirt-sprint performance.

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While Chalon finished second against high-class fillies in two Keeneland graded stakes shortly before being taken to auction last fall, she proved best Saturday at Laurel in the $100,000 Primonetta Stakes, beating Cairenn, who ran well in defeat, by about one length.

As longshot Your Pace or Mine went to the front, Chalon and jockey Paco Lopez took up a pressing position just outside the pacesetter through an opening quarter-mile in 21.91 seconds. Approaching the quarter pole, passed by the leaders in 45.26, Chalon had drawn abreast the leader, with Lopez looking under his left arm for the competition. It came in the form of Cairenn, who tried to make a run at Chalon as five furlongs went in 57.13, but Chalon just had too much class, finishing solidly while stopping the timer in a fine 1:09.44 for six furlongs on a fast track. It was about six lengths back to third-place Short Kakes. The winner returned $3.60.

“She’s been breezing very well all winter,” said trainer Arnaud Delacour. “We were very impressed with her. She might have been a breeze or two short today, but she ran very well anyway. That’s what good horses do.”

Arnaud began training Chalon after Roy and Gretchen Jackson, who race as Lael Stable, purchased her at auction last November for $550,000. Chalon, by Dialed In out of Fall Fantasy, by Menifee, ran her record to 4-2-1 from nine starts, and though she’s yet to win a graded stakes, she has shown graded-stakes-level talent for the better part of a year now. Chalon seems likely to return to graded-stakes competition next out, but Delacour demurred when asked about specific plans.

“One race at a time,” he said. “I will look at her options.”

The way Chalon looked Saturday, the options ought to be appealing.