G M B Racing’s $300,000 Fayette (GII) 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 Grade I, $600,000 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. (all times Eastern) on the Friday program that also features the 29th running of the $300,000 Mrs. Revere (GII) 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 nonplused ninth-place effort in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (GI) in late January at Gulfstream Park. Tom’s d’Etat’s 2019 campaign included a victory in the $100,000 Alydar Stakes at Saratoga, a runner-up effort in the $400,000 Alysheba (GII) and a third-place finish in the $600,000 Stephen Foster (GII) 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
FIRST KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE WAGER OF YEAR OPENS THURSDAY – Unbeaten Nashua Stakes (Grade III) winner Independence Hall and upset Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) winner Storm the Court are among the 24 betting interests in Pool 1 of the 2020 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which kicks off a four-day run at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day.
Both Independence Hall and Storm the Court were made 12-1 individual co-favorites on veteran odds maker Mike Battaglia’s morning line. The pari-mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” is expected to be the overall first-pool favorite for the 22nd consecutive year and Battaglia projects it to close as the 6-5 choice.
In addition to Independence Hall and Storm the Court, other promising juveniles expected to attract attention at the betting windows include Dennis’ Moment (15-1), the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorite who finished sixth after going to his knees at the start; impressive Breeders’ Futurity (GI) winner Maxfield (15-1); runaway Champagne (GI) winner Tiz the Law (20-1), who’ll headline Saturday’s $300,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs; and Honor A.P. (20-1), a swift maiden winner who is expected to make his next start in the $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (GII) on Dec. 7.
Here’s the complete Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 field (with trainer and morning line odds): #1 American Theorem (George Papaprodromou, 50-1); #2 Anneau d’Or (Blaine Wright, 20-1); #3 Answer In (Brad Cox, 50-1); #4 Authentic (20-1, Bob Baffert); #5 Basin (Steve Asmussen, 15-1); #6 Dennis’ Moment (Dale Romans, 15-1); #7 Eight Rings (Baffert, 15-1); #8 Gouverneur Morris (Todd Pletcher, 20-1); #9 Great Power (Simon Callaghan, 50-1); #10 Green Light Go (Jimmy Jerkens, 50-1); #11 High Velocity (Baffert, 20-1); #12 Honor A. P. (John Shirreffs, 20-1); #13 Independence Hall (Mike Trombetta, 12-1); #14 Maxfield (Brendan Walsh, 15-1); #15 Scabbard (Eddie Kenneally, 50-1); #16 South Bend (Stan Hough, 30-1); #17 Storm the Court (Peter Eurton, 12-1); #18 Structor (Chad Brown, 20-1); #19 Thousand Words (Baffert, 15-1); #20 Three Technique (Jeremiah Englehart, 50-1); #21 Tiz the Law (Barclay Tagg, 20-1); #22 Wrecking Crew (Peter Miller, 50-1); #23 “All 3-Year-Old Fillies” (30-1); and #24 “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” (6-5).
The pool, which features $2 Win and Exacta wagering, opens Thursday and will close Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered concurrently with the fifth annual Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, which provides bettors with a unique opportunity to wager on select breeding stars and their entire crop of juveniles with the hope of winning next year’s Kentucky Derby.
Offspring sired by Constitution – including Independence Hall, Tiz the Law and Breeders’ Futurity (GI) runner-up Gouverneur Morris – are 6-1 on the morning line for the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager. Offspring sired by popular 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah are listed at 8-1.
Here’s the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager field (with morning line odds): #1 American Pharoah (8-1); #2 Bernardini (30-1); #3 Bodemeister (20-1); #4 Candy Ride (ARG) (20-1); #5 Constitution (6-1); #6 Curlin (12-1); #7 Declaration of War (30-1); #8 Empire Maker (20-1); #9 Hard Spun (30-1); #10 Honor Code (30-1); #11 Into Mischief (20-1); #12 Liam’s Map (30-1); #13 Medaglia d’Oro (20-1); #14 More Than Ready (30-1); #15 Pioneerof the Nile (20-1); #16 Quality Road (20-1); #17 Shackleford (30-1); #18 Speightstown (30-1); #19 Street Sense (15-1); #20 Tapit (12-1); #21 Tiznow (15-1); #22 Uncle Mo (20-1); #23 Union Rags (20-1); and #24 “All Other Sires” (4-1).
This marks the seventh consecutive year that Churchill Downs has hosted Future Wager pools in November on closing weekend of its Fall Meet. “All Other 3-Year-Olds” has won four of the last six years: California Chrome ($3.20 in 2014), Always Dreaming ($4.40 in 2017), Justify ($4.40) and Country House ($4.60). An early Pool 1 win bet on eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah netted $27.60 in 2015, and Nyquist’s 2016 Derby victory resulted in a $21.80 payoff.
FREE BRISNET PAST PERFORMANCES FOR THURSDAY’S FALLS CITY, CARDINAL – Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day featured races will be the $300,000 Falls City (Grade III) and $175,000 Cardinal (GIII) and Brisnet.com will help the holiday handicapping with free past performances.
Thanksgiving’s renewal of the Falls City is scheduled as Race 9 on a 12-race program that begins with a special first race post time of 11:30 a.m. (all times EST). The Falls City shares the holiday racing spotlight with the 46th running of the Cardinal for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course. The Falls City has a scheduled post time of 3:24 p.m., while the Cardinal is set for 4:22 p.m.
In the Falls City, Jay Em Ess Stables’ Go Google Yourself is the co-morning line favorite with Sally’s Curlin as both fillies will be in search of their second-consecutive stakes victories.
Go Google Yourself, who drew the outside post position No. 9, won the $200,000 Locust Grove (GIII) in late September for trainer Paul McGee.
“The outside post should be fine,” McGee said. “She has enough tactical speed that she’ll be able to use that to get position into the first turn.”
The complete field for the Falls City (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Moonlit Garden (Florent Geroux, Cox, 10-1); Gradaria (Ricardo Santana Jr., Brendan Walsh, 20-1); Mylady Curlin (Tyler Gaffalione, Cox, 7-2); Vevina (Martin Garcia, Phil D’Amato, 15-1); Over Thinking (Jon Court, Vicki Oliver, 20-1); Sally’s Curlin (Corey Lanerie, Dale Romans, 3-1); Princess Causeway (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes, 10-1); Ratajkowski (Julien Leparoux, Brian Lynch, 7-2); and Go Google Yourself (Brian Hernandez Jr., McGee, 3-1).
Meanwhile, two races later, Blue Heaven Farm’s multiple graded stakes winner Starship Jubilee was made the 6-5 morning line in the Cardinal.
Trained by Kevin Attard, Starship Jubilee is a top contender for Canadian Horse of the Year honors following a stellar 2019 campaign that included a one-length score in the $600,000 E.P. Taylor (GI) at Woodbine. Luis Contreras will have the mount from post 11.
The complete field for the Cardinal (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Stave (Gabriel Saez, Larry Jones, 12-1); Kallio (Tyler Gaffalione, Brendan Walsh, 12-1); Tweety Show (Julie Burke, Ron Isbell Jr., 50-1); Maroubra (FR) (Julien Leparoux, Cherie DeVaux, 8-1); Smart Emma (Channing Hill, Danny Peitz, 15-1); Notapradaprice (Corey Lanerie, Eddie Kenneally, 8-1); English Soul (Declan Cannon, Jack Sisterson, 30-1); Limari (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 4-1); Cash Out (Chris Landeros, Rusty Arnold II, 15-1); Smart Shot (Brian Hernandez Jr., Arnold, 10-1); Starship Jubilee (Contreras, Attard, 6-5); and Area (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 30-1).
CHURCHILL DOWNS, FAIR GROUNDS TO OFFER ‘FLEUR DE LIS’ PICK 4 SATURDAY – For the second consecutive year, Churchill Downs Racetrack and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will team to offer horseplayers a cross-track Pick 4 on Saturday, Nov. 30.
Billed as the “Fleur de Lis Pick 4,” bettors will be required to pick the winners of four races late Saturday afternoon: two races at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La. and two stakes events at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
The minimum wager on the Fleur de Lis Pick 4 is 50 cents. Fair Grounds will serve as host of the wager.
Here’s the sequence for the unique Fleur de Lis Pick 4:
Leg 1: Fair Grounds Race 7 (4:35 p.m. ET)
Leg 2: Churchill Downs Race 9 (4:57 p.m. ET)
Leg 3: Fair Grounds Race 9 (5:35 p.m. ET)
Leg 4: Churchill Downs Race 11 (5:56 p.m. ET)
The opening leg from Fair Grounds is a first-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on turf (an oversubscribed field of 14), while the third leg is the $75,000 Richard R. Scherer Memorial for fillies and mares at 5 ½ furlongs on the grass (an oversubscribed field of 12). The second and fourth legs from Churchill Downs are the Golden Rod and Kentucky Jockey Club.
The Fleur de Lis is a symbol that is deeply ingrained in the history of both Louisville and New Orleans and has traditionally been used to represent French royalty. The English translation for the French “fleur-de-lis” is flower of the lily.
MEET LEADERS – Perennial leading rider Corey Lanerie held a 28-22 win lead over 2018 Fall Meet champion jockey Tyler Gaffalione. Ricardo Santana Jr. held third with 19 wins while Julien Leparoux’s 18 victories and Brian Hernandez Jr.’s 14 wins rounded out the Top 5. … Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen held a 17-11 win margin over Brad Cox. Ian Wilkes was in third with eight wins followed by Peter Miller with seven and Tom Amoss and Mike Maker tied with six victories … Lothenbach Stables continued their march toward leading owner with a 6-4 win advantage over Calumet Farm and Sagamore Farm.
DOWN THE STRETCH – There was a $186,622 carryover in the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot on Wednesday. First post is 1 p.m. The Single 6 sequence will span Races 5-10. … Thursday-Sunday at Churchill Downs will have 12 races. First post will be 1 p.m. with the exception of Thanksgiving where the first race is 11:30 a.m. Closing day of the 26-day meet is Sunday – the first time since 1928 Churchill Downs will race in December.