G M B Racing's Grade 2 Fayette winner Tom's d'Etat has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite as he readies to take on 11 rivals in Friday's 145th edition of the G1 Clark Presented by Norton Healthcare.
The Clark heads a duo of stakes races on the 12-race “Black Friday” card on the day after Thanksgiving that is traditionally the most popular racing day Churchill Downs' Fall Meet. The main event is scheduled as the 11th race at 5:56 p.m. on the Friday program that also features the 29th running of the G2 Mrs. Revere for 3-year-old fillies on turf. Post time for Friday's first race is 1 p.m.
Trained by Al Stall Jr., the 6-year-old son of Smart Strike has been in top form since a nonplussed ninth-place effort in the G1 $9 million Pegasus World Cup in late January at Gulfstream Park. Tom's d'Etat's 2019 campaign included a victory in the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga, a runner-up effort in the G2 Alysheba and a third-place finish in the G2 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs.
Among the rivals to Tom's d'Etat in the Clark is Calumet Farm's homebred Bravazo, who will be making his first start in 10 months after he finished fourth in the Pegasus World Cup.
“I don't think the time off has hurt him a bit,” Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. “I think he'll come back as a stronger horse.”
Bravazo, a 4-year-old colt by Awesome Again, danced in nearly every dance during his 3-year-old campaign, including a narrow runner-up effort behind eventual Triple Crown winner Justify in the $1.5 million Preakness (GI) and a neck defeat in last year's Clark. Luis Saez has the mount in the Clark and will break from post 10.
The complete Clark field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Draft Pick (Joe Talamo, Peter Eurton, 12-1); Tom's d'Etat (Joel Rosario, Stall, 8-5); Mocito Rojo (Filemon Rodriguez, Shane Wilson, 15-1); Major Cabbie (Paco Lopez, Peter Miller, 10-1); Snapper Sinclair (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 8-1); Fact Finding (Corey Lanerie, Charlie LoPresti, 8-1); Mr. Buff (Junior Alvarado, John Kimmel, 5-1); Owendale (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 15-1); Mr Freeze (Robby Albarado, Dale Romans, 15-1); Bravazo (Saez, Lukas, 30-1); Seeking the Soul (Brian Hernandez Jr., Dallas Stewart, 12-1); Pioneer Spirit (David Cohen, Robertino Diodoro, 12-1).
New for 2019, the Clark is no longer a handicap race. All horses will tote 121 pounds with the exception of Grade I winner Seeking the Soul, who will carry 123 pounds, and 3-year-old Owendale at 118 pounds.
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