Midway Road, winning Keeneland's Ben Ali Handicap earlier this year.

Midway Road, winning Keeneland's Ben Ali Handicap earlier this year.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Midway Road '50-50' for Clark; Alumni Hall Sidelined

Trainer Neil Howard listed William S. Farish's Fayette (gr. III) winner and Pimlico Special (gr. I) runner-up Midway Road as 50-50 for the Nov. 26, $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) after a six-furlong breeze at Churchill Downs Monday.

The 4-year-old Jade Hunter colt covered the distance in 1:14.80 over a "fast" track, with exercise rider Annie Finney in the saddle. The move was easily the fastest of just two at the distance.

"It was a good work," said Howard. "We're not definite for the Clark yet. We'll wait and see."

Howard did say that Farish's 5-year-old Alumni Hall, winner of the Black Tie Affair at Arlington Park and third to Midway Road in the Fayette, has suffered a minor setback and is no longer being considered for the Clark.

An abscess that formed on the neck of the 5-year-old son of A.P. Indy after the Fayette prompted Howard to put his training on a brief hold.

"It was about his second day back to the track after the race at Keeneland and then, all of the sudden, this big ball came up on his neck to a point where we had to lance it," said Howard. "It's okay now, but it's still draining."

Horses considered "likely" for the 130th running of the 1 1/8-mile Clark include Perfect Drift and Colonial Colony, the last two winners of Churchill Downs' $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I); Goodwood Breeders' Cup (gr. II) and UAE Derby (UAE-I) winner Lundy's Liability; Buckram Oak Farm's 3-year-old Eurosilver; and Domino Stud of Lexington's Sir Cherokee, winner of the Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III). Trainer Todd Pletcher lists the 3-year-old Purge, winner of the Jim Dandy (gr. II), as "possible" for the Clark.