Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Leading thoroughbreds Will Take Charge and Game On Dude headline a field of nine for Friday's $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.
The 3-year-old Will Take Charge and 6-year-old Game On Dude are both coming out of the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 2 where they finished second and ninth, respectively.
Trained by Hall of Fame member D. Wayne Lukas, Will Take Charge will start the 1 1/8-mile Clark from post 7 with Luis Saez again riding. The colt lost by a nose to Mucho Macho Man in the Classic at Santa Anita while Game On Dude came in ninth as the 17-10 favorite.
Will Take Charge has finished first or second in his last four starts, which include victories in the Travers and Pennsylvania Derby.
"The timing is pretty good," Lukas said about starting on Friday. "I almost wish there was more to the season, because he is good right now. It's a prestigious race in many ways. It's a Grade I and if we could get another Grade I against older competition around two turns, I think it would be significant."
Owned by Willis Horton, the 3-year-old has banked $2.7 million with five wins in 14 career starts.
Trained by another Hall of Fame member Bob Baffert, Game On Dude will break from the inside post with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith back to ride.
The 6-year-old gelding has lifetime earnings of $5.6 million with 15 wins in 28 starts. This year he began with consecutive victories in the San Antonio, Santa Anita Handicap, Charles Town Classic, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic.
Game On Dude is owned by a partnership that includes Bernard Sciappa, the Lanni Family Trust, Joe Torre's Diamond Pride Stable and Mercedes Stable.
Also coming out of the Breeders' Cup is Golden Ticket, second to Goldencents in the Dirt Mile. The 4-year-old colt will be ridden by Robby Albarado from post 4.
Owned by Magic City Thoroughbred Partners, Golden Ticket won the Prairie Meadows Handicap for his lone stakes victory of the year and was second to Fort Larned in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill.
Trained by Ken McPeek, he finished in a dead heat with Alpha in last year's Travers Stakes. Overall, Golden Ticket has won five of 20 starts with six seconds for $1,091,323.
Here is the full field for the Clark in post position order: Game On Dude, Mike Smith; Finnegans Wake, Julien Leparoux; Bourbon Courage, Corey Lanerie; Golden Ticket, Robby Albarado; Prayer for Relief, Ricardo Santana Jr.; Easter Gift, Joel Rosario; Will Take Charge, Luis Saez; Our Double Play, Francisco Torres and Jaguar Paw, Shaun Bridgmohan.
Post-time for the Clark will be approximately 5:35 p.m. (ET).