(Rich Strike / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

Rich Strike is on the cusp of history as he will attempt to become only the 15th Kentucky Derby winner in the last 148 years to be victorious in the $750,000 Clark presented by Norton Healthcare (Grade I).

          “Richie,” as he’s called by his owner Rick Dawson of RED TR Racing and trainer Eric Reed, is the first Derby winner to attempt the Clark since Silver Charm won the 1998 edition. In the last century it’s been extremely rare to even have a Derby winner attempt to run in the Clark, especially in their 3-year-old season.

          In 1970, Dust Commander returned to Churchill Downs for the Clark but only managed to finish third behind Watch Fob and Spud.

          It’s been since 1901 when His Eminence won both the Kentucky Derby and the Clark as a 3-year-old.

          “It might even be another good omen that it’s been a long time since someone has pulled this off, especially with what happened in the Derby being the second-longest price to ever win,” Reed said.

          Rich Strike was tabbed as the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Clark where he’ll make his start this month following a troubled fourth-place finish in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI).

          “If you were to ask me three months ago if I would’ve ever considered running in both races I likely would’ve said no,” Reed said. “Richie loves to train and the way he bounced out of that Classic showed us that he’s ready to run again.”

          The 1 1/8-mile Clark, which has run every year since 1875 at Churchill Downs, will go as Race 11 of 12 with a post time of 5:56 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post for the “Black Friday” card is 1 p.m. and will also feature the 31st running of the $300,000 Mrs. Revere (GII) in Race 10.

Here’s the Clark field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Proxy (Joel Rosario, Mike Stidham, 7-2); Trademark (Martin Garcia, Vicki Oliver, 20-1); Injunction (Rafael Bejarano, Carlo Vaccarezza, 6-1); Rich Strike (Leon, Reed, 2-1); Fulsome (Florent Geroux, Cox, 6-1); Last Samurai (Tyler Gaffalione, D. Wayne Lukas, 20-1); and West Will Power (Saez, Cox, 5-2).

          Wagering is available for the Clark on www.TwinSpires.com, the official wagering provider of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby.

DOMINANT ALLOWANCE WINNER RUNNING BEE SUPPLEMENTED TO GRADE III, $300,000 COMMONWEALTH TURFCalumet Farm’s impressive 5 ¼-length allowance winner Running Bee leads a field of 11 3-year-olds that were entered in Sunday’s 17th running of the $300,000 Commonwealth Turf (GIII) on closing day at Churchill Downs.

          The Commonwealth Turf, run at 1 1/16 miles on grass, will go as Race 11 of 12 with a post time of 5:56 p.m. (all times Eastern). Sunday’s Fall Meet final program will get underway at 1 p.m. and feature mandatory payouts in all wagers including the 20-cent Derby City 6 Jackpot.

          Trained by Chad Brown, the improving Running Bee cruised to a maiden-breaking score Aug. 10 at Saratoga when he circled past eight rivals to win by 3 ¾ lengths under jockey Manny Franco. Following an unsuccessful try at Kentucky Downs in the $750,000 Dueling Grounds Derby (GIII), the son of English Channel returned to allowance company at Keeneland where he easily defeated nine rivals in a front-running score under jockey Tyler Gaffalione and earned a professional 91 Brisnet Speed Rating. Gaffalione will once again have the call from post No. 3.

Running Bee was one of two horses supplemented for $3,000 each by Brown in the Commonwealth Turf. His stablemate, Klaravich Stable’s Portfolio Company, was the runner-up finisher in last year’s $150,000 With Anticipation (GIII) and $200,000 Pilgrim (GII). The son of Kitten’s Joy will be ridden by Florent Geroux from post 9.

          Three Diamonds Farm and Deuce Greathouse’s $500,000 American Turf (GII) winner Stolen Basewill make his return to Churchill Downs in the Commonwealth Turf. Trained by Mike Maker, Stolen Base has not found the winner’s circle since his triumph on Kentucky Derby Day in the American Turf. That day, the 3-year-old son of Bodemeister rallied from just off the pace to defeat nine rivals in the 1 1/16-mile event. Following his breakthrough victory, Stolen Base was well beaten in the $1 million Belmont Derby (GI), $200,000 Hall of Fame (GII) and $300,000 Bryan Station. As a 2-year-old, Stolen Base’s résumé includes runner-up efforts in the $200,000 Bourbon (GII) and $125,000 John Battaglia Memorial. Jockey Luis Saez will have the call from the rail.

Another graded stakes winner that entered the Commonwealth Turf is Donegal Racing’s Hall of Fame winner Ready to Purrform. Campaigned by Brad Cox, Ready to Purrform scored a wire-to-wire win in the Aug. 5 Hall of Fame at Saratoga. The son of Kitten’s Joy is 3-for-8 lifetime with one second and one third-place effort with purse earnings of $274,350. Ready to Purrform was well backed at odds of 9-2 in the Bryan Station but finished 10th, beaten 4 ¼ lengths. Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. has the call from post 6.

          Here is the complete field from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Stolen Base (Saez, Maker);Trademark (Rafael Bejarano, Vicki Oliver); Running Bee (Gaffalione, Brown); Play Action Pass (Edgar Morales, Robert Medina); Mount Rundle (Joe Talamo, Michelle Nihei); Ready to Purrform (Santana, Cox);Acutator (Martin Garcia, Michael McCarthy); Fighter in the Win (Gerardo Corrales, Maker); Portfolio Company (Geroux, Brown); Red Danger (Julien Leparoux, Brian Lynch); and Barberini (Vince Cheminaud, Arnaud Delacour).

          The Commonwealth Turf is scheduled to be contested in Lane 1 of the turf course.

          Wagering is available for the Commonwealth Turf and every race from Churchill Downs onwww.TwinSpires.com, the official wagering provider of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs Incorporated.

INSTANT COFFEE MADE SLIGHT 5-2 MORNING LINE CHOICE IN GRADE II, $400,000 KENTUCKY JOCKEY CLUBGold Square’s Saratoga maiden special weight winner Instant Coffee was tabbed as the slight 5-2 morning line favorite in his attempt for graded stakes glory in Saturday’s 96th running of the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII).

          The Kentucky Jockey Club, run at 1 1/16 miles, will award the Top 5 finishers points on a 10-4-3-2-1 scale towards a spot in the starting gate for the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI).

          First post Saturday is 1 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the 12-race program features all 2-year-old races as part of “Stars of Tomorrow II.” The Kentucky Jockey Club will go as Race 11 at 5:56 p.m. The card will also include the $400,000 Golden Rod (GII), $200,000 Ed Brown and $200,000 Fern Creek.

          Trained by Brad Cox, Instant Coffee was a determined three-quarters of a length victor in his debut. The son of Bolt d’Oro returned in the $600,000 Breeders’ Futurity (GI) where he finished fourth behind eventual $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) winner Forte.

          “We’re looking forward to him in this spot,” Cox said. “The Breeders’ Futurity came up a key race with Forte coming back to win the Juvenile. He had a pretty tough trip in the Breeders’ Futurity and I think that experience can benefit him by maturing off of that start.”

          Here is the complete field for the Kentucky Jockey Club from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Curly Jack (Edgar Morales, Tom Amoss, 3-1); Western Ghent (Mickaelle Michel, D. Wayne Lukas, 20-1); Denington (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek, 12-1); Gigante (Corey Lanerie, Steve Asmussen, 12-1); Red Route One (Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen, 7-2); Freedom Trail (Florent Geroux, John Terranova, 6-1); Hayes Strike (Rafael Bejarano, Kenny McPeek, 10-1); Instant Coffee (Luis Saez, Cox, 5-2); and Cyclone Mischief (Joe Talamo, Dale Romans, 8-1).

          Inaugurated in 2005, Churchill Downs’ Stars of Tomorrow programs have helped launch the careers of numerous graded stakes winners, including more than 50 Grade I winners led by Horse of the Year champions Gun Runner (2017) and Rachel Alexandra (2009), Kentucky Derby winners Super Saver (2010) and Mandaloun (2021) and Longines Kentucky Oaks winners Rachel Alexandra (2009), Believe You Can (2012), Monomoy Girl (2018) and Secret Oath (2022).

          Wagering is available for the Stars of Tomorrow II program on www.twinspires.com, the official wagering provider of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby.


KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE WAGER POOL 2 OPENS THURSDAY – Fans will have their second of six opportunities to bet on the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) Thursday-Sunday where Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) winnerForte was made the 10-1 individual betting favorite while the pari-mutuel field of “All Other Colts and Geldings” from the 2020 foal crop not listed within the 38 individual betting interests was tabbed as the heavy 3-5 choice.

The four-day pool, which features $2 Win and Exacta wagering, will open Thursday at noon (all times Eastern) and close Sunday at 6 p.m. Pool 2 will run concurrent with the lone Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, where fans can bet horses sired by 39 individual sires and an option for “All Others” that were not listed. Horses from the 2020 foal crop sired by Uncle Mo are the 4-1 morning line favorite followed by Violence (6-1), Arrogate (8-1) and Into Mischief (8-1). All Other Sires is listed at 6-1.

In the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Forte, trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, has won four of five career starts and is a three-time Grade I winner with his other victories coming in the Breeders’ Futurity and the Hopeful (GI). The talented son of Violence has already banked $1,595,150 and is the heavy favorite to become champion 2-year-old.

Wagering will be suspended on #17 Frank’s Honor because of an injury, according to trainer Kenny McPeek.

Other intriguing prospects that were included in the second pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are Winchell Thoroughbreds’ dazzling maiden special weight winner Extra Anejo (15-1); Spendthrift Farm, Steve Landers Racing, Martin Schwartz, Michael Dubb, Ten Strike Racing, Jim Bakke, TitletownRacing Stables, Kueber Racing, Big Easy Racing and Winners Win’s undefeated allowance winner Giant Mischief (25-1); Breeders’ Futurity narrow runner-up Loggins (40-1); and Rodeo Creek Racing’s Champagne (GI) winner and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) fourth-place runner Blazing Sevens.

As was the case last year, Pool 2 will assume that horses under the care of trainers suspended from competing in the 2023 Kentucky Derby will not be under consideration. Instead, they are included within the pari-mutuel field.

In total, there are 14 new entrants in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager: Bromley, Capture the Flag, Cascais, Champions Dream, Corona Bolt, Denington, Disarm, Expect More, Giant Mischief,Hal, Litigate, Navy Man, Practical Move and Recruiter.

Here is the complete field with morning line odds: #1 Awesome Strong (80-1); #2 Blazing Sevens (30-1); #3 Bromley (99-1); #4 Capture the Flag (99-1); #5 Cascais (99-1); #6 Champions Dream (99-1); #7 Corona Bolt (80-1); #8 Curly Jack (80-1); #9 Cyclone Mischief (99-1); #10 Denington (99-1); #11 Disarm (80-1); #12 Echo Again (50-1); #13 Expect More (99-1); #14 Extra Anejo (15-1); #15 Forbidden Secret (99-1); #16 Forte (10-1); #17 Frank’s Honor (99-1); #18 Full Moon Madness (99-1); #19 General Jim (80-1); #20 Giant Mischief (25-1); #21 Gulfport (75-1); #22 Hal (99-1); #23 Hit Show (80-1); #24 Instant Coffee (80-1); #25Joking Way (99-1); #26 Litigate (99-1); #27 Loggins (40-1); #28 Mr. Ripple (99-1); #29 Navy Man (99-1); #30 Practical Move (99-1); #31 Recruiter (99-1); #32 Rocket Can (99-1); #33 Signator (60-1); #34 Tapit’s Conquest (99-1); #35 Ten Days Later (60-1); #36 Tuskegee Airmen (99-1); #37 Verifying (80-1); #38Victory Formation (80-1); #39 “All Fillies from the 2020 Foal Crop (80-1); and #40 All Other Colts and Geldings from the 2020 Foal Crop (3-5).

Fans will have the opportunity to see some of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 entrants run Saturday at Churchill Downs for Stars of Tomorrow II which features exclusively 2-year-old races. The featured event is the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), worth 10 points to the winning horse on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

In the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, horses sired by Uncle Mo were made favorite. To date, some of Uncle Mo’s top earners (through Nov. 17) are Gulfport ($336,530), Mo Strike ($183,710) and Arabian Knight ($86,025).

In last year’s Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, “All Other Sires,” which included eventual Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice), closed as the 7-2 favorite.

Here is the complete field for the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager with morning line odds: #1American Pharoah (80-1); #2 Arrogate (8-1); #3 Bernardini (50-1); #4 Bolt d’Oro (60-1); #5 Cairo Prince(80-1); #6 Candy Ride (ARG) (80-1); #7 City of Light (80-1); #8 Classic Empire (80-1); #9 Cloud Computing (80-1); #10 Constitution (80-1); #11 Curlin (60-1); #12 Empire Maker (80-1); #13 Flatter (80-1); #14 Ghostzapper (60-1); #15 Girvin (60-1); #16 Good Magic (60-1); #17 Gun Runner (10-1); #18 Hard Spun (80-1); #19 Into Mischief (8-1); #20 Justify (40-1); #21 Malibu Moon (60-1); #22 Medaglia d’Oro (80-1); #23 Mendelssohn (80-1); #24 More Than Ready (80-1); #25 Not This Time (80-1); #26Nyquist (80-1); #27 Pioneerof the Nile (99-1); #28 Practical Joke (80-1); #29 Quality Road (20-1); #30 Runhappy (50-1); #31 Sharp Azteca (80-1); #32 Speightstown (60-1); #33 Street Sense (80-1); #34 Tapit(40-1); #35 Uncle Mo (4-1); #36 Union Rags (99-1); #37 Violence (6-1); #38 War Front (80-1); #39 West Coast (80-1); #40 All Other Sires (6-1).

All told, there are six Future Wager pools scheduled in advance of the 2023 Kentucky Derby: Pool 1 ran Nov. 1-3; Nov. 24-27 (Pool 2); Jan. 20-22 (Pool 3); Feb. 10-12 (Pool 4); March 10-12 (Pool 5); and March 30-April 1 (Pool 6). The lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will coincide with Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5 on March 10-12.

A record total of $2,060,691 was bet on future wagers for the 2022 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.

There are no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager or Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager. Should Churchill Downs officials determine during the duration of this week’s four-day pool that one of the wagering interests has experienced an injury, illness or other circumstance that would prevent the horse from participating in the Kentucky Derby or Oaks, betting on the individual horse will be suspended immediately.

          More information, Brisnet.com past performances and real-time odds on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be available before the pool opens Thursday online at https://www.kentuckyderby.com/wager/future-wager.

DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing continued Thursday at Churchill Downs with a special first post of 11:30 a.m. The Derby City 6 Jackpot was hit Wednesday for $67,880.20. There will be a mandatory payout Sunday for Closing Day. … Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be visiting guests at Churchill Downs Friday-Saturday. It’s also been reported that Santa loves to place a bet on www.TwinSpires.com.