Churchill's Clark 'sets up' for Fayette winner Tom's d'Etat

By Kevin Kerstein/Churchill Downs
October 27, 2019 11:00am
Churchill's Clark 'sets up' for Fayette winner Tom's d'Etat
Photo: Photo courtesy of Keeneland
G M B Racing’s classy eight-time winner Tom’s d’Etat will focus his attention on the marquee race of the Fall Meet at Churchill Downs, the Grade 1, $600,000 Clark, following his 4 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s Fayette Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.

“I can’t even give you any ‘trainer speak.’ We’re headed for the Clark,” trainer Al Stall Jr. said Sunday morning. “The Clark obviously sets up perfectly from the Fayette and will be a great next spot for this horse.”

Tom's d'Etat could meet Maximum Security in the Clark. The talented 3-year-old colt, who was disqualified from his win in the Kentucky Derby, won the Bold Ruler (G3) at Belmont Park Saturday. The Jason Servis trainee, who recently overcame a bout of colic, had last raced in July, when he won the Haskell Invitational (G1).

Tom’s d’Etat, a 6-year-old son of Smart Strike, will hope to cap his 2019 campaign with his first Grade 1 victory.

The Kentucky-bred began his year with a ninth-place effort in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park. Tom’s d’Etat returned to the races in May with a runner-up effort behind McKinzie in the Alysheba (G2) and six weeks later finished a gutsy third behind Seeking the Soul and Quip in the Stephen Foster (G2) at Churchill Downs. Stall then shipped Tom’s d’Etat to Saratoga, where he recorded a one-length victory in the Alydar and a fourth-place effort in the Woodward (G1).

“We’ve always thought this horse was deserving of a Grade 2 or Grade 1,” Stall said Saturday following the Fayette.

Nominations for the Clark will close Nov. 16.

 

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