Grade I winners Lido Palace and Take Charge Lady have been assigned the high weight, respectively, for the $400,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) and the $250,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. II), the final handicap races of the 2002 Fall Meet at Churchill Downs.
The two races for older horses are highlights of a three-day Thanksgiving Day weekend that features four stakes races with total purses of more than $1.05 million.
The 128th running of the 1 1/8-mile Clark Handicap for 3-year-olds and up stacks up as the deepest and most competitive event of the Thanksgiving weekend. Two-time Woodward Stakes (gr. I) winner and Jockey Club Gold Cup runner-up Lido Palace is the likely starting high weight for the Clark at 121 pounds. The Bobby Frankel-trained Lido Palace is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Monday.
Other horses considered likely or "possible" for the Clark (and their weight assignments) include Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) winner Tenpins (118), Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) runner-up Dollar Bill (117), Empire Classic winner Gander (117), Schaefer Mile winner Crafty Shaw (116) and Washington Park Handicap runner-up Generous Rosi (114). Others are Black Tie Affair Handicap winner Hero's Tribute (114), Kentucky Derby (gr. I) third-place finisher Perfect Drift (114), Perryville winner Najran (113), Neon Shadow (113) and American Style (110).
The 3-year-old Take Charge Lady, runner-up in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and winner of Keeneland's Ashland (gr. I) and Spinster (gr. I), was assigned 122 pounds for the 87th running of the 1 1/8-mile Falls City for older fillies and mares. The Ken McPeek-trained daughter of Dehere was five pounds above Richard, Elaine and Bert Klein's 3-year-old Allamerican Bertie, the Alabama (gr. I) runner-up and Delaware Oaks (gr. III) winner who is expected to run on Thanksgiving Day for trainer Steve Flint.
Other fillies and mares considered "likely" or "possible" for the Falls City include 2001 Falls City runner-up Printemps (117), Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) winner Softly (116), Sixty Sails (gr. III) winner With Ability (116), Lady Shari (115), Due To Win (112) and Hi Tech Honeycomb (110).