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Grade 1 Winner Chez Pierre to Return in June 10 Poker

Last out he defeated follow-up group/grade 1 winners Modern Games and Up to the Mark.

Chez Pierre rolls in the Maker's Mark Mile Stakes at Keeneland

Chez Pierre rolls in the Maker's Mark Mile Stakes at Keeneland

Mathea Kelley

Lael Stables' talented grade 1 winner Chez Pierre is scheduled to start June 10 in the $200,000 Poker Stakes (G3T), a mile turf race for older horses on Belmont Stakes Day.

Trained by Arnaud Delacour, the 5-year-old Mehmas gelding was last seen scoring in the April 14 Maker's Mark Mile Stakes (G1T) at Keeneland by 3 1/2 lengths over champion Modern Games. Modern Games subsequently captured the Lockinge Stakes (G1) overseas at Newbury while Maker's Mark Mile third-place finisher Up to the Mark won the Turf Classic Stakes (G1T) at Churchill Downs.

Chez Pierre has worked four times since the Maker's Mark Mile, and his final pre-Poker breeze is scheduled June 3 at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, trainer Arnaud Delacour said.

The middle-distance turf horse is 6-for-7. He won his first three outings in France with conditioner Francis-Henri Graffard before moving stateside in the summer of his 3-year-old season.

Chez Pierre won his first American outing by a neck in an optional claimer last March at Tampa Bay Downs before posting a 5 1/2-length victory in the one-mile Henry S. Clark Stakes six weeks later at Laurel Park. His lone loss came this year in the 1 1/16-mile Tampa Bay Stakes (G3T) when racing off a 10-month layoff in February.

Anaconda, AnnapolisDreams of Tomorrow, and Filo Di Arianna are other probable Poker starters.

This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.