Rested Atletico Wins Clark Handicap

Clark Handicap (Grade 1)- $500.000 Purse
CD- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
November 24, 2017

A little rest may have done the trick for Atletico, a three year old colt that showed promise during the TC prep races, and eventually qualified for the KYD, but failed to contend. Over the summer, Atletico struggled, and after a 4th though uninspiring run in late September, Atletico was given time off, nearly two full months. On Friday he was back, and looked to have a tactical adjustment also in play as he was much closer to the pace early on then he was during the summertime. This proved to be successful, and Atletico wins for the first time in his career. The proud winning trainer is Our Athletes, who is to be commended for his perseverance with this one. It’s his first win in the stake, and likewise for winning jockey F Geroux. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:47.99, towards the slower end of the races history, but it was all that was necessary. Let’s take a look!

(½ Mile- :48.46)- Our eventual winner from Our Athletes, Atletico, was the quickest of them all from the gate, and he would lead the way down most of the frontstretch, with those who started on each side of them providing the closest pursuit. As the field approached the opening turn, Swept Twice, from Gdp Inc, made a clean uncontested pass for the lead, and would eventually be the leader into the turn. He would open up, eventually by about a length and a half. Also starting well was Withdrawn, from John Henry, and as Swept Twice opened up somewhat, Withdrawn kept to the inside of Atletico and the two of them ran side by side for second into the backstretch. Royal Prodigy, last years winner from Mb Stables, got off to a decent start and would be fourth, a length behind Atletico. Copper Beast, debuting for Night Rider Stables, would be fifth while taking the fourth lane. Rookaholic, the longshot from TwinTowersRacing was nearby in sixth while trailing were Made To Sin (John Henry) and Playmaker (RNP Stables).

(Six Furlongs- 1:12.11)- For most of the backstretch, there was not much movement throughout the field, but towards the end, and approaching the turn, we saw F Geroux encourage his mount to take a run at the lead. Atletico responded well to this urging, and methodically reeled in the pace setting Swept Twice. He had not quite completed the pass at the six furlong mark, since Swept Twice was still running gamely at this point. Withdrawn remained third, as he did not move forward along with Atletico, and now found himself in tight quarters with both Royal Prodigy and Copper Beast looking to take his position away. Rookaholic was right behind him and closing in as well. Made To Sin and Playmaker still trailed, but only had four lengths to make up.

(Top Of Stretch- 1.7F To Go)- Atletico and Swept Twice go at one another pretty good while rounding the turn, as Swept Twice tries to hang in there. However, Atletico would prove to be too much and would poke a head in front moving into the stretch. Swept Twice was still second, but lost interest once Atletico got by. Withdrawn was third, a length and a half back, after handling the turn well and seemed like he’d be a threat. Copper Beast was trying to hang to his outside, though Royal Prodigy seemed less enthusiastic while on the rail. Rookaholic looked poised to follow the lane Atletico was in. Playmaker and Made To Sin were still not yet showing much.

(Finish- 1:47.99)- The stretch was a walk in the park for Atletico. It did not seem as though it was going to be as easy it was, but with no challenge coming from behind from anyone, all that was left to do was watch Atletico run and pick up the big win for Our Athletes. Neither Withdrawn or the perennial stretch disappointment Copper Beast was able to take a run at him and seemed flat themselves. This led to Rookaholic’s taking over of second just by maintaining his stride and staying out of trouble. Withdrawn holds off Copper Beast for third place monies. Made To Sin, Royal Prodigy, Swept Twice, and Playmaker round it out.

About The Winner: Atletico, trained by Our Athletes and ridden by F Geroux, is a three year old colt by Arian (by Charley Farley) and out of Derpy (by Five Spirits). He was bred in Kentucky by Our Athletes as a second quarter two year old, and they have been together throughout. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his third in fifteen starts, and his second graded win. His career earnings are now $768.600.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Atletico Our Athletes Geroux F 3.65   12 1:47.99  
  Rookaholic TwinTowersRacing Moran D 24.70   2nk 1:48.44  
  Withdrawn John Henry Leparoux J R 5.25   3nk 1:48.49  
  Copper Beast Night Rider Stables Maragh R 5.30   43/4 1:48.55  
  Made To Sin John Henry Bejarano R 4.00   5no 1:48.72  
  Royal Prodigy Mb Stables Albarado R J 2.85   6hd 1:48.74  
  Swept Twice Gdp Inc Ortiz I Jr 6.85   71 1:48.77  
  Playmaker RNP Stables Husbands P 48.75   8 1:48.98  

Track: Fast

Time: :482  1:12   1:354  1:474

$2 Mutuel Prices:

6 – Atletico 9.30 5.40 3.70
1 – Rookaholic   25.20 19.20
5 – Withdrawn     4.40

$1 Exacta: 6 – 1 Paid 90.40

$1 Trifecta: 6 – 1 – 5 Paid 628.10

Scratched: Indian Chief

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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