Trainer Profile: Christophe Clement
Trainer Christophe Clement
Christophe Clement was born in Paris, France in 1965. He grew up in Chantilly, France in his father’s training yard, and his grandfather also owned racehorses. Christophe came to the United States in 1986, working initially for Taylor Made Farm and then for Hall of Fame trainer Claude ‘Shug’ McGaughey. When he returned to Europe in 1988, Christophe served as an assistant to Luca Cumani for four years in Newmarket, England.
In 1991, Clement went out on his own as a trainer in the U.S. His first winner was the first horse he saddled at Belmont Park. Just a few months into his training, he had two Grade II victories. His wife Valerie helps him manage the operations of the Florida stables, and he rotates seasonally between Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course and Payson Park No. of Miami. He also sends groups of horses to Keeneland and to California for more extended periods.
Attention to detail – whether in feeding, in evaluating a horse’s condition or in coordinating licensing and providing owners feedback – is a hallmark of the operation of the stable. Clement is a very hands on trainer, and he personally and intensively oversees the training of each horse in his staled. Christophe has trained horses for many American and European owners of both large and small stables, and he attends and identifies horses to purchase at the major sales in the United States.
In 2008 Clement he achieved his 1,000th win at Hollywood Park, and he has over 1,700 career wins including more than 340 stakes wins. Clement trained Gio Ponti who won two eclipse awards in 2010 and one in 2011. In 2014 he trained the Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist. He’s 2-for-2 in 2017 with the newest star in his barn Celestine, who nearly set the track record in the 2016 Just A Game Stakes victory on Belmont Stakes Day. Christophe is one of the top 20 trainers in North America based on lifetime earnings and is one of the youngest on the list.