Ubiquity, a 4-year-old trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, was sent off at 18-1 odds to post a front-running upset victory in Friday's $452,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. Ridden by Craig Perret, Ubiquity jumped out in front while being tailed by longshots Mr Ross and Tahkodha Hills. The pacesetter set fractions of :23.76, :47.37, 1:11.19, and 1:35.64 before the rest of the field began to move rounding the second turn in the 1 1/8 mile test. The final time of 1:48 1/5 was a stakes record and one second off the track record.
Favored Include, under Pat Day, closed along the rail but was unable to gain on Ubiquity and settled for second. Mr Ross held on gamely for third, with Gander, who characteristically raced in last throughout the early stages, unleashed his closing kick late but could do no better than fifth, just behind Connected. Ubiquity paid $40.40, $14.40, and $8.70, with Include returning $3.80 and $2.80 and Mr Ross worth $5.00.
The victory was the first in graded company for Ubiquity, a son of Colonial Affair owned by Gary L. and Mary West. The winner of four of 10 career starts, the 4-year-old colt has two wins, two seconds, and one third in five starts for Mott. Previously trained by Tom Amoss, Ubiquity made his first start for Mott in June of this year after being out of competition since November 1999.
"I was told before the race that he's as good as your going to get him right now," said Perret, who was winning his fourth stakes and sixth race at the Churchill fall meet. "We just didn't know if he was good enough to run with this field."
"When he was sent down here from New York the idea was to run him in a non-winners of three race," said Ralph Nicks, assistant to Mott. "That race didn't go so we just kept on training him and he trained great. You don't expect to win a race like this with a horse with so little accomplishments. It was a great effort for the horse. Craig is as good as a rider as any in the country and one of the best when it comes to big money races."
The Clark was the 61st stakes win at Churchill for Mott, who is the all-time leader in that category at the track. Another Hall of Famer, D. Wayne Lukas, is second with 57 stakes wins.