(Maxfield / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

Godolphin’s multiple graded stakes winning colt Maxfield drew post No. 8 and will face a talented field of seven rivals that entered Friday’s 147thrunning of the Grade I, $750,000 Clark presented by Norton Healthcare, the premier race of the Churchill Downs Fall Meet.

The 1 1/8-mile Clark will go as the featured 11th race at 5:56 p.m. (all times Eastern). The first race for the 12-race program is 1 p.m.

The Clark, named in honor of Churchill Downs founder Col. Merriweather Lewis Clark, is one of four stakes events that was staged during the inaugural meeting in 1875. Throughout the past 146 years, some of racing’s biggest superstars have won the Clark such as multiple champion Gun Runner (2016), Hall of Famer Wise Dan (2011), Horse of the Year Blame (2009), Kentucky Derby (GI) winner Silver Charm (1998) and Triple Crown winner Whirlaway (1942).

In Friday’s edition, Maxfield will attempt to notch another Grade I victory in his final career start. Trained by Brendan Walsh, Maxfield won the Breeders’ Futurity (GI) as a 2-year-old. The Street Sense colt was originally on target for the delayed 2020 Kentucky Derby following his one-length victory in the $150,000 Matt Winn (GIII) but was forced to the sidelines with a minor injury.

Maxfield’s 2021 campaign includes two victories at Churchill Downs in the $400,000 Alysheba and $600,000 Stephen Foster (GII). The talented Kentucky-bred finished second to eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) hero Knicks Go in the $1 million Whitney (GI) and second to front-running Art Collector in the $500,000 Woodward (GI). Overall, Maxfield sports a stout career record of 7-2-1 from 10 starts and earnings of $1,550,902. He will be ridden in the Clark by regular rider Jose Ortiz.

Chief among Maxfield’s Clark adversaries is Winchell Thoroughbreds’ improving 3-year-old Midnight Bourbon. Campaigned by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bourbon was prominent in nearly all of the top 3-year-old races this year. The Tiznow colt finished a troubled sixth in the Kentucky Derby (GI) when he broke slow from the starting gate and was forced wide on both turns. Following the Derby, Midnight Bourbon took the lead in the final turn of the $1 million Preakness (GI) but ultimately gave way to finish second behind Rombauer. Midnight Bourbon enters the Clark following back-to-back runner-up finishes in the $1.25 million Travers (GI) and $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (GI). Jockey Joel Rosario, who won the 2019 edition of the Clark aboard Tom’s d’Etat, will have the call from the rail.

The last 3-year-old to win the Clark was Gun Runner.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher entered two horses in this year’s Clark: St. Elias Stable’s two-time graded stakes winner Dr Post and Wertheimer and Frere’s Grade I victor Happy Saver.

In his last start, Dr Post finished one-length behind Maxfield in the Woodward. The 4-year-old son of Quality Road has a pair of Grade III victories this year in the $200,000 Westchester (GIII) and $300,000 Monmouth Cup (GIII). As a late-developing 3-year-old a year ago, Dr Post was the runner-up finisher to Tiz the Law in the $1 million Belmont Stakes (GI) and finished third to Authenticand New York Traffic in the Haskell (GI). North America’s leading jockey by wins, Irad Ortiz Jr., will be in the saddle from post 3.

Happy Saver, a 4-year-old chestnut colt by Pletcher’s Kentucky Derby-winner Super Saver, was second last out in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI). He won the 2020 edition of the race by three-quarters of a length. The five-time winner from seven starts will cut back in distance after competing at the 1 ¼-mile distance in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the $400,000 Suburban (GII), where he finished third. Churchill Downs leading rider Tyler Gaffalione has the call from post 4.

Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm’s $200,000 Lexington Stakes (GIII) winnerKing Fury, trained by Kenny McPeek, stormed home to a 13-length triumph in the $275,000 Bourbon Trail at Churchill Downs. In his subsequent start, the Curlin colt finished third over the sloppy surface in Keeneland’s $200,000 Fayette (GII). Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. will ride from post 5.

Completing this year’s Clark field is the Estate of James Coleman Jr.’s Grade II winner Chess Chief; Steve Landers Racing’s 2020 $100,000 Cornhusker (GIII) hero Night Ops; and J and J Stables and Pricilla Vaccarezza’s turf allowance winner Militarist.

Here is the full field for the Clark from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Midnight Bourbon (Rosario, Asmussen); Night Ops (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Dr Post (Irad Ortiz Jr., Pletcher); Happy Saver (Gaffalione, Pletcher); King Fury (Hernandez, McPeek); Chess Chief (Joe Talamo, Dallas Stewart); Militarist (Rafael Bejarano, Carlo Vaccarezza); and Maxfield (Jose Ortiz, Walsh).

Wagering is available online at www.TwinSpires.com, the official ADW of Churchill Downs Incorporated.

 

(Bonny South / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

BONNY SOUTH TABBED AS 9-5 FAVORITE IN FALLS CITYJuddmonte’s multiple graded stakes winning filly Bonny South was made the 9-5 morning line favorite as the headliner in Thursday’s 106th running of the $500,000 Falls City (Grade II), the centerpiece on the Thanksgiving Day program from Churchill Downs.

Bonny South, trained by Brad Cox, was the 8-5 favorite in last year’s edition of the Falls City but fell short to eventual winner Envoutante. The accomplished 4-year-old daughter of Munnings finished third in the $500,000 Spinster (GI) to multiple Grade I winner Letruska. Prior to her Spinster effort, Bonny South nearly defeated Letruska in the $600,000 Personal Ensign (GI) at Saratoga but came up a half-length short.

“We kept her here at Churchill since the summer and pointed her to this race after the Spinster,” Cox said. “She ran well last time at Keeneland against Letruska who went gate-to-wire. I think this is a good spot for her to cap off this year’s campaign.”

The Thanksgiving Day card at Churchill Downs has been a Louisville tradition since 1969. There are more than 7,000 turkey dinners scheduled to be served from executive chef Dave Danielson and his team. First post is 11:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) and the 1 1/8-mile Falls City will go as Race 11 of 12 at 4:22 p.m.

Here is the Falls City field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds):Crystal Ball (Tyler Gaffalione, Rodolphe Brisset, 7-2); Cheetara (CHI) (Julien Leparoux, Ignacio Correas IV, 15-1); High Regard (Rafael Bejarano, Vicki Oliver, 15-1); Envoutante (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek, 7-2); Army Wife (Joel Rosario, Mike Maker, 5-2); Bonny South (Florent Geroux, Cox, 9-5); and Audrey’s Time (Corey Lanerie, Neil Pessin, 15-1).

Wagering is available online at www.TwinSpires.com, the official ADW of Churchill Downs Incorporated.

 KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE WAGER AND SIRE FUTURE WAGER RETURNS CLOSING WEEKEND – The first pools of the 2022 Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered Nov. 25-28. The traditional pool with 23 individual wagering interests and an “all others” option will return, and so will the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, which debuted in 2015 and requires bettors to wager on the winning sire for next year’s Kentucky Derby winner.

The fields for both Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and Sire Future Wager will be released Monday.

The other Future Wager dates are set for Jan. 21-23 (Pool 2), Feb. 11-13 (Pool 3), March 11-13(Pool 4) and March 31-April 2 (Pool 5). The lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will coincide with Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 on March 11-13.

 STAKES PROBABLES – The 132nd Fall Meet from Churchill Downs will close with six stakes events that will cumulatively award $2.45 million in purse money. Here are some of the likely starters according to either assistant racing secretary and stakes coordinator Dan Bork:

  • The 95th running of the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at 1 1/16 miles for 2-year-olds (entries taken Wednesday): Classic Causeway (Brian Lynch); Howling Time (Dale Romans); Smile Happy (Kenny McPeek); Texas Red Hot (Randy Morse); and Tiz the Bomb (Kenny McPeek).

 

  • The 78th running of the $400,000 Golden Rod (GII) at 1 1/16 miles for 2-year-old fillies (entries taken Wednesday): Famed (Brad Cox); Sandstone (Kenny McPeek); and Yuugiri(Rodolphe Brisset).

 

  • The 1st running of the $200,000 Lively Shively at 6 ½ furlongs for 2-year-olds (entries taken Wednesday): Chattalot (Steve Asmussen); Hoist the Gold (Dallas Stewart); and Tejano Twist(Bret Calhoun).

 

  • The 1st running of the $200,000 Fern Creek at 6 ½ furlongs for 2-year-old fillies (entries taken Wednesday): Bali Del Sol (Rusty Arnold); Matareya (Brad Cox); and Verylittlecents (Randy Morse).

 

TV SCHEDULE – Racing from Churchill Downs will air each race day on the Churchill Downs LIVE app. The app is available free of charge on streaming services such as Amazon, Apple TV and Roku. Most races also will be covered on the Fox Sports family of networks as part of “America’s Day at the Races.” Here is the updated TV schedule for racing this week:

  • Sunday: 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fox Sports 2 | 4-5:30 p.m. Fox Sports 1
  • Wednesday: 1-6 p.m., Fox Sports 2
  • Thursday: 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Fox Sports 2
  • Friday: 12-5 p.m., Fox Sports 2
  • Saturday: Racing will not air on Fox Sports
  • Sunday, Nov. 28: 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fox Sports 2 | 4-6:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1

 

DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing continued Sunday at Churchill Downs for a nine-race program that began at 1 p.m. There was a $109,257 jackpot carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6 that spanned Races 4-9 and a $6,463 carryover in Race 9’s Super Hi 5. … Following early morning rain in the Louisville area, the track was listed as “sloppy” for training and the start of racing Sunday. … For more information about the Fall Meet, visit www.churchilldowns.com.