Tracy Farmer’s two-time Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Commentator, Robert LaPenta’s 2008 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Da’ Tara and Four Roses Thoroughbreds’ 2007 Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) winner Anak Nakal, all trained by Nick Zito, headline a list 26 horses nominated to the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. II) to be run Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs.
Weights for the 134th running of the 1 1/8-mile main track race will be released Nov. 21. Anak Nakal is also nominated for this weekend’s Discovery Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct and will likely go in that race.
Among others nominated to the Clark are Elisabeth Alexander’s Magna Graduate, who won the event in 2005; the Helen Pitts-trained turf standout Einstein, who ran second to 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin in this summer’s Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) on the main track at Churchill; and 2008 Travers (gr. I) runner-up Mambo in Seattle for trainer Neil Howard.
Entries for the Clark will be drawn Nov. 25.
Thanksgiving weekend at Churchill will also include the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. II), which drew 17 nominations for the holiday event.
Topping the nominees are Pin Oak Stable’s Brownie Points, trained by Donnie Von Hemel, and Abergwaun Farm’s Model, trained by Neil Drysdale. Both have run second this year to likely Eclipse Award winner Zenyatta.
Two-year-olds will be the focus of the closing-day “Stars of Tomorrow II” card, highlighted by the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) and the $150,000-added Golden Rod (gr. II) for fillies, both at 1 1/16 miles.
Joseph Rauch and David Zell’s Capt. Candyman Can, winner of the Nov. 1 Iroquois (gr. III) in his most recent start for trainer Ian Wilkes, heads a list of 25 nominees for the Kentucky Jockey Club that has had four of its winners come back the following spring and win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), most recently 1973 victor Cannonade.
Twenty-one fillies were nominated to the Golden Rod, including the second-, third- and seventh-place finishers in last month’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Santa Anita. Comprising that trio are runner-up Dream Empress, owned by Livin the Dream Racing, third-place finisher Sky Diva, owned by Puglisi Racing, and William Pacella, George Bonomo and Fred Barbara’s C.S. Silk.
Also nominated are the 1-2 finishers from the Nov. 1 Pocahontas (gr. III): Eldon Farm Equine’s Sara Louise and Dolphus Morrison’s Rachel Alexandra.