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2009 Clark Handicap (G2)

Date/Track:
11/27/2009, Churchill Downs
Distance:
1 1/8 m (Dirt)
Age/Sex:
3+ M
Time:
1:49.39
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Older Comments about the 2009 Clark Handicap (G2)...

arazi, I sure agree with you in the fact that Einstein is indeed one of those rare horses that has the ability to win over any surface. But frankly, of the three, I think turf has been his most affective by far.
Blame ran a big race. Not an easy trip. Not an easy trip for Misremembered or Einstein, and both ran good races as did Giant Oak. Blame is the real deal and he could lead the handicap division in 2010. Stall's got a good one on his hands... and he will be sure to plan an Eclipse-winning campaign for him next year that will end up in the BC at Churchill.
The Clark Handicap was my first time in getting to see Blame race in person. I had heard some previous buzz about him that he was a legitimate horse, but he more than proved that today leaving the like's of horses like Macho Again, Bullsbay, Etched, Demarcation, and Dubious Miss far behind in his wake. Misremembered ran a terrific race, stubbornly settling for 2nd, and Einstein, being the great champion he's always been, fought hard all the way to the end for 3rd. I also thought Giant Oak ran a more than respectable race as well. If not for having broken so slowly he may have well ended up in the money himself, narrowly missing anyway.
Agree with Rossington that Giant Oak is very, very interesting here. This horse has showed flashes of brilliance in the IL Derby and then with a monster move in the Arlington Classic... but he's been stuck behind very slow paces most of the year. Really like him for the exacta in here, maybe the win. Blame figures and could be bet a lot more than 6-1. I would also give a chance to Misremembered to press the pace and get a piece. Einstein's a tough competitor... so it wouldn't surprise to see him in the dogfight, but it doesn't seem like dirt is his best game so I would be surprised to see him in the exacta, especially from the 14 hole. Thought he had a good shot in the BC Classic, but the pace was way too much.
Tip of the hat to Helen Pitts on always placing Einstein where he can win. I am sure she had no choice but to run Einstein in the Classic though on paper he was clearly over matched. Very good horse but definitely over rated and no chance here today.
Obviously, for sentimental reason's I'd love it if Einstein went out a winner and was able to redeem himself from a poor Classic finish against a very tough field that's taking shape in the Clark Handicap. But that said, I have a gut feeling that after running an extremely competitive 2nd to Misremembered in the Indiana Derby that this might just be the day that Giant Oak put's it all together and make's it into the winner's circle. Every since finishing 2nd to Musket Man in the Illinois Derby back in April, this has been a colt that has shown flashes of potentially being a top 3yr.old but has alway's fallen just short. And at 20-1 I definitely like his chances to at least hit the board. But racing against Einstein, Bullsbay, Macho Again, Etched, Misremembered, and Blame he'll definitely have to bring his "A" game to accomplish that.
Clark Handicap is shaping up to be a pretty competitive field coming off of the Breeders Cup races.
If the Clark Handicap does end up fielding Einstein, Macho Again, Bullsbay, Misremembered, and Etched all, this is shaping up to be a pretty competitive field. Sentimentally rooting for Einstein to go out a winner, fitting for the champion he's proven to be through his year's of racing.

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