A field of 12 will line up in Friday’s feature at Churchill Downs, the $600,000 Clark at nine furlongs on the main track.
The Al Stall trained Tom’s d’Etat is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The six-year-old won the Fayette (G2) at Keeneland in the slop in his last outing. Joel Rosario has the return ride and will break from the two post carrying 123 pounds.
“He definitely deserves a Grade I,” Stall said. “(The Clark) was the perfect race to go to after the Fayette. He is stabled here and handles Churchill very well.”
The 5-1 second choice on the morning line is the John Kimmel trained Mr. Buff. The gelding is coming off a victory in the state bred Empire Classic at Belmont Park in his last start. He has won three of his last four starts, all versus New York breds with the loss a seventh in the Woodward (G1).
The 2017 Clark winner Seeking the Soul (12-1) is back again this year. The Dallas Stewart trainee was third in the Clark last year.
“We’re back at Churchill where we know he likes to win,” Stewart said. “He looks like he did when he was preparing for the 2017 Clark. We’re very excited to get him in the gate Friday.”
With an upset chance s Snapper Sinclair (8-1), who had a troubled trip in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) where he checked in fourth.
The co-feature at Churchill Downs on Friday is the $300,000 Mrs. Revere (G2) at 1 1/16 miles on turf for three-year-old fillies. A field of 14 entered led by the Chad Brown trained New and Improved (3-1), winner of the Sands Point (G2).
The feature at Aqueduct is the $200,000 Comely (G3) for three-year-old fillies.
Let’s head out to Churchill Downs for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Churchill Downs Race 11 The Clark (G1) Post time 5:56 ET
5 Snapper Sinclair 8-1
2 Tom’s d’Etat 8-5
11 Seeking the Soul 12-1
8 Owendale 15-1
The Steve Asmussen trainee had a rough trip in his last outing in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at 40-1. The colt saved ground early, got bottled up in behind foes nearing the quarterpole, had to steady when a foe came in him at the 3/16’s and then regained is momentum and finished up with some interest. The colt earned a career top speed figure two back winning the Tourist Mile on turf at Kentucky Downs going a mile. Three back in his first start in graded stakes company he finished evenly in a third-place finish in the West Virginia Governor’s, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in a decent effort. The colt is going to need a near career top effort to beat this group, but it looks as if he is going to be a decent price int his spot. He should be able to work out a good trip from mid pack and has shown enough late run that he should be able to handle nine furlongs.
This guy gets better with age. He was perfect in his two starts last year at the age of five and he matched his career top speed figure last out in a sharp win the Fayette (G2) at Keeneland in the slop at nine furlongs. He won the restricted Alydar three back at the Spa at nine furlongs and is now 4 for 7 at today’s distance. The Stall trainee has run well over the main track here and he is perfect in his three trips with Rosario aboard. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and has earned triple digit Beyers in his last five starts.
Seeking the Soul
The 2017 Clark winner was third last year and returns this year for trainer Dallas Stewart. This six-year-old has done some of his best work under the twin spires, landing in the money in 10 of his dozen trips with earnings of over $1 million. He did not have the best of trips in a sixth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) last out. His last win came in June where he won the Stephen Foster (G2) over the main track here. The barn has developed a habit of winning or coming close with runners at generous odds over the years and his 12-1 morning line here make shim tempting. He is capable of better than we saw out of him in his last three starts in Southern California.
WIN: Snapper Sinclair to win at 6-1 or better.
EXACTA: 2,5 / 2,5,8,11
TRIFECTA: 2,5 / 2,5,8,11 / 2,5,7,8,11