Clark H. Heads Churchill Fall Stakes Schedule
The 139th running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I), is the premier event on a roster of nine stakes races with total purses of $1.625 million scheduled to be run during Churchill Downs' Oct. 27-Nov. 30 Fall Meet.
The Clark, a race for 3-year-olds and up that has attracted some of the most talented older horses in American racing in recent years, will be renewed in 2013 in its traditional day-after-Thanksgiving spot on Friday, Nov. 29.
All nine stakes races scheduled for the meet are graded events.
The race named for the family of Churchill Downs founder Meriwether Lewis Clark dates back to 1875 and the first racing meet at a new track known as the Louisville Jockey Club. Like the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), which also debuted at that meet, the Clark Handicap has been run annually without interruption since its first running.
The Clark Handicap will be run as a grade I event for the fourth consecutive year and for the fifth time in seven years.
Fall meet highlights include a pair of the popular "Stars of Tomorrow" programs devoted exclusively to races for 2-year-olds. Those special programs, staged for the ninth straight year, are scheduled for opening day Sunday, Oct. 27, and closing day Saturday, Nov. 30.
The featured events on the Opening Day "Stars of Tomorrow I" program include a pair of new overnight stakes events with purses of $65,000-added: the Street Sense and Rags to Riches, both to be run at one mile on the main track.
The Street Sense is an open race for juveniles named in honor of the winner of the 2007 Kentucky Derby and 2006 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. The Rags to Riches, a race restricted to 2-year-old fillies, honors the 2007 Kentucky Oaks winner who later defeated Preakness (gr. I) winner and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin in the Belmont Stakes (gr .I) and was named the Eclipse Award champion 3-year-old filly.
Both Street Sense and Rags to Riches made their racing debuts as 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
The headline events of "Stars of Tomorrow II" are more familiar as the $175,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) and the $175,000-added Golden Rod (gr. II) for fillies will share the spotlight on Saturday, Nov. 30. The races are stops on the respective Road to the Kentucky Derby and Road to the Kentucky Oaks point systems that will determine the participants in the 2014 renewals of the Derby and the Oaks.
Other grade II events on the Fall Meet stakes schedule include:
* the $150,000-added Chilukki, a race for fillies and mares ages three and up at one mile that will have the on-track spotlight on Breeders' Cup Saturday, Nov. 2;
*the $175,000-added Mrs. Revere on Saturday, Nov. 16, a 1 1/16-mile turf test that offers 3-year-old fillies one of the their final opportunities to compete against members of their age group; and
* the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares ages three and up on the main track that is the annual racing centerpiece of the Thanksgiving Day celebration at Churchill Downs on Thursday, Nov. 28.
Grade III turf events on the Fall Meet schedule include:
* the $100,000-added Cardinal Handicap on Saturday, Nov. 9, a race for fillies and mares ages three and up at 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course;
* the $100,000-added Commonwealth Turf, a race for 3-year-olds on the grass on Saturday, Nov. 16; and
* the $100,000-added River City Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up on turf scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 23.
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