G M B Racing's classy eight-time winner Tom's d'Etat will focus his attention on the marquee race of the Fall Meet at Churchill Downs, the Grade I, $600,000 Clark presented by Norton Healthcare, following his 4 ¼-length victory in Saturday's $200,000 Fayette Stakes (GII) at Keeneland.
“I can't even give you any 'trainer speak', we're headed for the Clark,” trainer Al Stall Jr. said Sunday morning. “The Clark obviously sets up perfectly from the Fayette and will be a great next spot for this horse.”
Tom's d'Etat, a 6-year-old son of Smart Strike, will hope to cap his 2019 campaign with his first Grade I victory. The Kentucky-bred began his year with a ninth-place effort in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (GI) at Gulfstream Park. Tom's d'Etat returned to the races in May with a runner-up effort behind McKinzie in the $400,000 Alysheba (GII) and six weeks later finished a gutsy third behind Seeking the Soul and Quip in the $600,000 Stephen Foster (GII) at Churchill Downs. Stall then shipped Tom's d'Etat to Saratoga where he recorded a one-length victory in the $100,000 Alydar and a fourth-place effort in the $400,000 Woodward (GI).
“We've always thought this horse was deserving of a Grade II or Grade I,” Stall said Saturday following the Fayette.
Nominations for the Clark will close Nov. 16.
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