Flat Out Assigned Top Weight for Clark

Flat Out Assigned Top Weight for Clark
Photo: Reed Palmer Photography, Churchill Downs
Flat Out worked 4 furlongs in :48 on November 19 at Churchill Downs.

Flat Out  , winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) and beaten favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) two weeks ago, has been assigned the high weight of 123 pounds for the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I) Nov. 25.

The 5-year-old son of Flatter   impressed trainer Scooter Dickey and his owners, Preston Stables, on the morning of Nov. 19 with a half-mile breeze in :48 on the Churchill main track.

Flat Out is expected to make his third start beneath the Twin Spires this year in the 1 1/8-mile Clark. Flat Out finished sixth to Pool Play in the Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by Abu Dhabi (gr. I) in June and ran fifth to Drosselmeyer   in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs Nov. 5.
       
In between, Flat Out experienced considerable success in New York. In his four races there, Flat Out recorded wins in the Suburban Handicap (gr. II) and JCGC, and was second in both the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) and Woodward (gr. I).

Under jockey Greta Kuntzweiler, Flat Out recorded fractions of :12 3/5, :24 2/5, and :36, and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01. The four-furlong time was the eighth fastest of 91 at the distance.
       
“The horse worked perfectly,” Dickey said. “The owners were here to watch him and we were all really happy. He’s doing great.”
       
Flat Out was doing so great that Dickey noted Kuntzweiler had to restrain him more than usual to keep him from working too quickly.
       
“We didn’t want her (Kuntzweiler) to really pull on him and make him throw his head, but she had a better hold of him than she usually does and he still worked pretty fast,” Dickey said. “We wanted him to do it all by himself and that’s how he did it. He loves to work.”
       
Flat Out returned to Dickey’s barn in good order following the breeze.
       
“He cooled out great,” Dickey said. “He was acting like he didn’t even work this morning.”

Dickey is hoping for a better draw for Flat Out after leaving from the inside post in both the Foster and the Classic.

“It wouldn’t exactly make me mad if we drew further outside,” Dickey said with a grin. “We’ve been inside both times he’s gotten beat here this year. We’re hoping to not draw the one, but that’s out of our hands."      

Next on the roster of Clark Handicap weight assignments at 120 pounds is Morton Fink’s Wise Dan, who won the Fayette (gr. II) at Keeneland by four lengths in his most recent start. A 4-year-old gelded son of Wiseman's Ferry, Wise Dan also has stakes victories this year in the Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) on grass at Churchill Downs and the Presque Isle Downs Mile over the synthetic Tapeta surface at the Pennsylvania track.
       
Six 3-year-olds were nominated to the Clark, led by Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Ruler On Ice, who has been assigned 118 pounds. A 3-year-old gelded son of Roman Ruler  , the Kelly Breen-trained Ruler On Ice finished third behind Drosselmeyer and Game On Dude in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
       
Horses expected to be entered Nov. 22 in the Clark also include Mister Marti Gras (117), Prayer for Relief (117), General Quarters   (116), Mission Impazible   (116), Headache (115), Stately Victor   (115) Demarcation (114), Equestrio (114), and Pleasant Prince (114).

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