The Clark Stakes- $100.000 Purse
PIM- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile On The Turf
April 18, 2015
This is the part where I will usually talk about a race’s past history. But behold! There is no past history to speak of on this one. Welcome, everyone, to the inaugural Clark States being held at PIM. It’s not the biggest purse you will ever see for a stake but bragging rights are on the line to be able to say you were the first winner of the race. We have a few of these this weekend at PIM, and it is forecasted to be a beautiful Saturday for racing. Seven go to the gate for this race, so let us have a look through the field!
#1- Short Tempered (Oval Express Farms, ridden by H A Karamanos)- After winning a pair of optional claimers during the winter, the trainer brought the six year old gelding by Pats Perfection to GP for the Grade 3 Appleton, and he was a bit of a disappointment, in beating only one horse. Still, he only missed by two lengths, and Oval Express Farms has not been deterred. It wasn’t the first time he ran in a graded event, but all the other tries have pretty dismal looking running lines. This ungraded stake seems like a good spot, but he is still going to have to find a way to match the winning time of the Appleton to beat a couple in here if they run their best. You can make a case for Short Tempered, but I will look elsewhere.
#2- Nebraska Forty (Black Dog, ridden by F Boyce)- The trainer, Black Dog, seeks their first career stake win, and Nebraska Forty might just have the ability to do it. It took him a little while to break his maiden, but when he did, he was thrust into an open allowance immediately, and won the race. The winning streak was extended to three with a victory in a NY-bred optional claimer in just about the same winning time that the aforementioned Appleton was won in. We’ll see if this colt by Doctor Megaton can extend the winning streak, and I would like his chances quite a bit if it wasn’t for one other one in here.
#3- Wine and Dine (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by T McCarthy)- Looking to add his name to the long list of stake winners produced by the great Red Rioja, and has a chance to do it while the stallion’s owner has the horse the beat. Wine And Dine has become more of a horse that can be good for hitting the board, rather then winning. He has won just three of 18 career races, but has on the board in eleven of them. He has never won a stake, but his stake record is a decent (4-0-2-1). If he duplicates the time he ran at PRX, then he will eat up this field, but PRX turf races always seem to run fast. He will certainly be a big threat.
#4- The All Blacks (Yahudi Stables, ridden by S Russell)- It’s good to see those purple and gold Yahudi silks back out there on the race track, and The All Blacks has the ability to make sure they also show up in the winners circle. This will only be the second time he has raced on turf, with the prior occasion being the prestigious G1 Pattison at WO. It was a midpack type showing, but this time he will be glad to be back on the grass and not have the likes of Stormy Kg and Z Jinxed One on the track at the same time. The All Blacks has some very nice work times coming into this, especially one at PRX on March 30.
#5- Chapter In The Fog (Hippyheart, ridden by J R Betancourt)- This colt by In The Fog is the lone three year old in the race, and he will have a five pound weight allowance in lieu of that. In his young career, he took a stab at the TC Trail, but a tenth place in the Grade 3 Withers at AQU had Hippyheart smile again at Pinnacle West in his stable and to start looking for other options for Chapter In The Fog. This brings us to the turf, where the colt has never raced before. If we’re going by a work on March 28th, then a statement was made that he loves it and is ready to roll. Watch the odds board on him, if they climb too high, then take a shot.
#6- Clueless (Mb Stables, ridden by Mb Stables)- Skeptics might say that this five year old horse also hasn’t run on enough on turf, and that his biggest wins to date have all been on dirt. The part about dirt would not be a lie. Clueless had a great stretch in early 2014 that saw him win the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap at FG, then get back to back seconds each to the great Nile Warrior, coming in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap, still at FG; and then second in the Grade 2 Alysheba at CD in May. These results sent him to the BC Dirt Mile at SA, but he was never a factor there. Last month saw a return to the turf and won a three horse open allowance on SA turf listed as good. Clueless might not be quite what he was in early 2014, but if he was, he wouldn’t be in this field. He is still working and racing well, so he hasn’t dropped off all that much, in my opinion. If this were a Graded event against other graded winners, I would be hesitant. But can Clueless win the $100.000 Clark Stakes at this stage of his career? Absolutely. He is the horse to beat.
#7- Power Ball (Nakamura Stables, ridden by E Camacho)- This four year old gelding will race for the first time in 2014, which is also his first run for his current trainer, Nakamura Stables, after claiming him for $40.000 on New Years Eve. He has won four races in his career, but those were early in his career. One of them was an allowance in May at LS which hints at his ability to run the time needed to win this race just as long as he has improved just a little bit in those eleven months, and odds are that he has. Despite that, he never went long on the turf again until a starter allowance at GG in November where he was a decent second. It’s a good sign that Nakamura has him running at this distance, and I think he can be a major spoiler in here, and am going to put him on the second half of my exacta.
Categories: NG Stakes