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Clark Handicap 2013; Fight for Horse of The Year

Clark Handicap 2013; Fight for Horse of The Year

The 139th running of the GI Clark Handicap is set to take place on Friday, November 29, 2013 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The $500,000 race for three-year-olds and up hosts nine dynamic athletes including 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic contenders Game On Dude and Will Take Charge, both being considered for the prestigious Horse of The Year award. SEE UPDATED RESULTS

Will Take Charge 2013 Clark Handicap

Will Take Charge and jockey Luis Saez will break from post position #7 with 9/5 odds in the 2013 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Six-year-old gelding Game On Dude is the morning line favorite with 8/5 odds. The Bob Baffert trained horse will carry the highest weight of 126 pounds in the 2013 Clark Handicap. No other Clark Handicap contender has carried this much weight since Taylor’s Special in 1986. Only six horses out of thirteen have won the Clark Handicap carrying at least 126 pounds.

Trainer Bob Baffert isn’t deterred by Game On Dude’s weight assignment telling reporters, “They’ve weighted him like he’s Horse of the Year, so I guess that’s a compliment. I’m glad Churchill Downs racing secretary Ben Huffman who assigned the weights isn’t down on the horse like everyone else is.”

Despite Game On Dude’s 9th place finish in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 2nd, the gelding has an extremely impressive resume and loyal fans that follow his every race. The Horse of The Year contender finished first in six consecutive stakes races prior to the Breeders’ Cup Classic in California.

The always-confident D. Wayne Lukas is expecting 2nd place Breeders’ Cup Classic contender Will Take Charge to do quite well in the 2013 Clark Handicap.

D. Wayne Lukas reported, “I think he’s already sealed the Champion 3-Year-Old Male award. I would rather take the position that the Clark is a significant race with Grade I status and a nice purse, and an opportunity to showcase our horse again. I almost wish there was more to the season, because he is good right now. It’s a prestigious race in many ways. It’s a Grade I and if we could get another Grade I against older competition around two turns, I think it would be significant.”

In related news, breaking from post position #4 with jockey Robbie Albarado for the Clark Handicap is Golden Ticket. Golden Ticket was considered for the Cigar Mile in New York on Saturday but trainer Kenny McPeek decided to run the Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ four-year-old colt in the Clark Handicap instead.

Prayer For Relief 2013 Clark Handicap

After evaluating the strong field of contenders, Prayer For Relief is Trixie’s longshot bet for the 2013 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Black Friday.

Kenny McPeek stated, “A couple of his better speed figures are here at Churchill, plus he doesn’t have to ship.”

The 1 1/8 mile GI Clark Handicap is the 11th race of the day with an approximate post time of 5:35 PM EST. The Clark Handicap is the main event in the Black Friday program at Churchill Downs that begins at 12:40 PM EST.

Trixie’s Pixies: Despite the cockiness of trainer D. Wayne Lukas, I have always been a Will Take Charge fan. I think he can easily win the 2013 Clark Handicap. My longshot bet is Zayat Stables’ Prayer for Relief with 12/1 odds. I like the way the five-year-old looks these days. Good Luck! Safe Run!

*Beginner’s Note: The “Horse of The Year” Eclipse award is the highest honor given in American thoroughbred horse racing. The Champion award is a designation give to a horse, irrespective of age, whose performance during the racing year was deemed the most outstanding. The Eclipse Awards will take place for the second consecutive year at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida on Saturday, January 18, 2014.

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What to Wear to the Clark Handicap

Clark Handicap 2013 Post Positions & Odds
1 Game On Dude 8/5 Smith/Baffert
2 Finnegans Wake 20/1 Leparoux/Romans
3 Bourbon Courage 8/1 Lanerie/Gorder
4 Golden Ticket 9/2 Albarado/McPeek
5 Prayer for Relief 12/1 Santana, Jr./Asmussen
6 Easter Gift 12/1 Rosario Brown
7 Will Take Charge 9/5 Saez/Lukas
8 Our Double Play 20/1 Torres/Bauer
9 Jaguar Paw 20/1 Bridgmohan/Lyster
UPDATED RESULTS: 7, 1, 6, 3, 9, 2, 8, 4, 5