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Monday, November 18, 2013
19 nominated for Clark Handicap

By Jack Shinar
Bloodhorse



Game On Dude and Will Take Charge stand out on the nomination list released Nov. 17 for the upcoming $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare at Churchill Downs.

The beaten favorite in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, Game On Dude is expected to compete in the 1 ⅛-mile Clark Nov. 29 following his disappointing ninth-place finish Nov. 2.

The Bob Baffert-trained 6-year-old gelding won six consecutive stakes races prior to the Classic, a string that included Grade 1 triumphs in the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Pacific Classic. Game On Dude's career record stands at 28-15-5-1 with $5.6 million in earnings, and a victory in the Clark would bolster his case for year-end Eclipse Award honors.

Will Take Charge -- attempting to nail down championship honors in the 3-year-old division -- has been confirmed for the Clark by trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Willis D. Horton's son of Unbridled's Song was beaten a nose by Mucho Macho Man in a memorable Classic. The Travers victor has won four of 10 races in 2013.

Those two head a roster of 19 older horses nominated to compete in the 139th running of the Clark.

The race for 3-year-olds and up is scheduled for the popular Black Friday racing program Nov. 29. It is one of four graded stakes races set for the three-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend that closes out the 25-day fall meet.

Others considered likely for the Clark are Bourbon Lane Farms Bourbon Courage, winner of the 2012 Super Derby and third to classic winner Shackleford in the 2012 Clark; John C. Oxleys Uncaptured, winner of the 2012 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs and the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie, the second jewel of Canadas Triple Crown; Zayat Stables Prayer for Relief, a multiple graded stakes winner with victories in this years Prairie Meadows Cornhusker and the Governors Cup at Remington Park; and Donegal Racings Finnegans Wake, runner-up in the 2012 Secretariat on turf and fourth in the recent Hagyard Fayette Stakes over Polytrack at Keeneland.

Considered "possible" for the Clark is Magic City Thoroughbred Partners Golden Ticket.