Friday's 11th race (5:35pm ET) from Churchill Downs is the Grade 1 Clark Handicap for 3-year-olds and up traveling a mile and an eighth on the main track.
#5 Cease (5-1) won a 9f affair at the Spa off a similar layoff in July. Stall can do no wrong at the current stand and all four of his career wins were accomplished at this distance. Mena has booted him home before and he is a tight fit on numbers. He gets pace to chase and should offer a hint of value.
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#1 Pool Play (5-1) won the G1 Foster here in 2011 and beat my top in the G2 Hawthorne Gold Cup in October. Mena abandons for my top and he will try to get involved late under new pilot Lanerie.
#10 Lunar Victory (6-1) is a razor sharp NY-bred with a 3-for-3 record at nine panels. He owns strong numbers but gets tested for class here.
I have never been a fan of #3 Shackleford and the frequent money burner will almost certainly take too much action in his swan song. The 2-time local winner has dropped three straight and has not won a two turn race in quite some time. He looms a pace player at the very least along with #6 Take Charge Indy (8-1).
$10 to win, $14 to place #5
$4 Exacta 5/1-10 ($8)
$4 Exacta 1-10/5 ($8)
analysis by Jarrod Horak
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