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    Bit to Do

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    As the fall meet wraps this weekend at Churchill Downs, the weekend’s highlight is the Grade 1 $500,000 Clark Handicap for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. The Clark Handicap, marking its 140th running on Friday, has long been a favorite among horsemen and race fans. The Clark gives horsemen a chance to lock-in another Grade 1 victory before the end of the year and gives race fans an opportunity to see their favorites run once more before the season’s end. Recent winners of the prestigious race include Will Take Charge, Shackleford, Wise Dan, Giant Oak, Blame and Einstein. As in previous years, this year’s field does not skimp on the talent.

    Headlining the field of eight is Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s Departing. The Al Stall trainee hasn’t won a race since Apr. 30, when he crossed the wire in front in an allowance/optional claiming race at Churchill Downs. However, he’s knocking on the door of another victory, finishing second by a neck to Dale Roman’s Pick of the Litter in Keeneland’s Fayette Stakes (G2) Oct. 25 and second to Cigar Street in Churchill’s Homecoming Classic Sept. 27.

    Departing has been installed as the favorite in the field at odds of 3-1 and will break from post four under jockey Robby Albarado.

    Stall, Dilschneider and Claiborne teamed to win the Clark in 2009 with Blame. Additionally, a triumph in Friday’s Clark would give Claiborne the outright record for stakes wins at Churchill Downs. Currently, the farm is tied with Calumet Farm at 32 stakes wins.

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    Jessie Oswald's picture

    About Jessie Oswald

    I'm a lifetime Louisville resident with a passion for horse racing. When I'm not working as a paralegal or taking care of my family, I follow Thoroughbred racing and love to share the excitement and beauty of the sport with anyone willing to learn!

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