Keen Ice Returns: Donegal Announces Clark Handicap As Primary Target

by | 09.25.2016 | 12:35pm
Keen Ice (outside) breezing in the fog on Aug. 27 at Saratoga

Team Donegal Racing's Keen Ice, the only horse to defeat Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015, is nearing his return to the races, Donegal announced Sunday via Twitter. The 4-year-old son of Curlin has not raced since a disappointing effort in the Dubai World Cup in March, after which he was transferred to the care of trainer Todd Pletcher.

A hind cannon bone fracture sidelined the colt in mid-April, but he began regularly appearing on the work tab during the Saratoga meeting this summer. Keen Ice has since shipped to Belmont Park with Pletcher's New York string, and has recorded three breezes over the training track surface, the latest of which was a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.03 Friday morning.

Keen Ice's primary target, according to Donegal's Tweet, will be Churchill Downs' G1 Clark Handicap on Nov. 25. The $500,000 contest will be held over nine furlongs on the main track.

Though he has not won a race since defeated American Pharoah in the 2015 Travers, Keen Ice did finish fourth both in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic and Clark Handicap. In 2016, his best finish was a sixth-place effort in the Donn Handicap. Overall, Keen Ice's record stands at 2-1-3 from 16 career starts, with earnings of $1.8 million.

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