The Fifth Season marked Street Strategy's first race for owner Randy Patterson, who privately purchased the 5-year-old son of Street Sense
following the death of another one of Morse's major clients, Dave Clark, 74, who succumbed to cancer Oct. 18 in Little Rock, Ark. Clark, the former head of equine air transporter H.E. "Tex" Sutton Forwarding Co., purchased Street Strategy for $425,000 at the 2013 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s spring sale of 2-year-olds in training.
"The bottom line is I wouldn't have had that horse if it wasn't for him," said Morse, who saddled his first winner in 1981. "He was the first guy that ever gave me the chance to buy those big-time horses."
Street Strategy was making his first start since finishing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) Oct. 30 at Keeneland
. The Dirt Mile was the final time Street Strategy raced under Clark's name (Iron Horse Racing). Clark was also the former owner of Iron Horse Farm, about 45 miles northwest of Little Rock.
Morse began training for Clark in early 2012, inheriting his horses following the death of Bob Holthus, Oaklawn's all-time leading trainer, in November 2011. They teamed to win the 2013 Arkansas Breeders' Stakes at Oaklawn with private purchase Jan's Perfect Star
, who counted a victory against open company at Saratoga among her biggest wins.
Street Strategy broke his maiden at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting before finishing sixth in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II). Morse said Street Strategy tore the main supporting ligament in his stifle in the Rebel, an injury that sidelined the gray horse for the remainder of 2014. Street Strategy returned to win two allowance races last year at Oaklawn before finishing fifth in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
"That guy was so unlucky in this game," Morse said of Clark's horse ownership experience. "It was unbelievable, I mean, with horses. He was a very wealthy man."
Morse said he had approximately six horses with Clark at the time of his death, but is down "to a couple of maidens" as his family phases out its racing operation. The two horses will also be sold, Morse said.
Morse said Street Strategy will be pointed to the $300,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) March 19 at Oaklawn. His other top older horse, multiple stakes winner Cougar Ridge, is pointing for the $100,000 Essex Handicap Feb. 13 at Oaklawn. He has won his last four starts.