Reduced Clark 'Cap Heads Churchill Fall Meet
The 138th running of the Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I) heads a schedule of 12 stakes races with total purses of $1.8 million set for the Oct. 28-Nov. 25 fall meet at Churchill Downs, but the purse of the race will be reduced $100,000.
The Clark, for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles, will be worth $400,000-added, a reduction of $100,000 from its 2011 level. Also, the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. II), a 1 1/8-mile race for older fillies and mares that is the traditional racing centerpiece of the Thanksgiving holiday program, has been reduced by $25,000 from last year's renewal.
The Clark has been run annually without interruption since the Louisville oval's first race meet in 1875 and is set for its usual "Black Friday" spot on a Thanksgiving weekend schedule. It shares the autumn spotlight with the track's popular "Stars of Tomorrow" programs devoted exclusively to 2-year-old Thoroughbreds.
Also scheduled is a lone Nov. 17 "Downs After Dark" night program that will feature both of the track's late-season turf races for 3-year-olds, the $175,000-added Mrs. Revere (gr. II) for fillies and the $100,000-added Commonwealth Turf (gr. III). Those races will be run on the same program for the first time, each making their respective debut under the Churchill lights.
The 21-day meet opens with the "Stars of Tomorrow I" program. Highlights of the opening day will again be the $150,000-added Pocahontas (gr. II) for fillies at a mile and its counterpart for males, the $100,000-added Iroquois (gr. III).
A stakes race will be featured on each of the Churchill Downs' live racing programs conducted prior to the simulcasts of the Breeders' Cup World Championships races from Santa Anita Park Nov. 2-3. The $100,000-added Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III), a one-mile event for 3-year-olds and up, is set for the Nov. 2 program. The local highlight on the Nov. 3 card is the $150,000-added Chilukki (gr. II), a one-mile race for fillies and mares ages 3 and up.
"Stars of Tomorrow II" on Nov. 24 will feature the 86th running of the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track and its counterpart for fillies, the 69th running of the $150,000-added Golden Rod (gr. II).
The winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club will automatically be nominated to the 2013 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the Derby Trial (gr. III). The winner of the 68th Golden Rod will earn automatic nominations to the 2013 renewals of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and the $100,000-added Eight Belles (gr. III), a seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies that will be run on Kentucky Oaks Day.
The $100,000-added River City Handicap (gr. III), for 3-year-olds and up on turf, will be the featured event on the meet's Nov. 25 closing day.
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