Game On Dude slight favorite over Will Take Charge in Clark Handicap

awincze@herald-leader.comNovember 26, 2013 

Del Mar Horse Racing

Game On Dude, with Martin Garcia up, triumphed in the $1,000,000, Grade I Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August. He enters the Breeders' Cup Classic having won his five starts this year.

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  • Clark Handicap

    When: 5:35 p.m. Friday

    Where: Churchill Downs

    Purse: $500,000 (Grade I)

    Distance: 11⁄8 miles

    For: 3-year-olds and up

    TV: HRTV

    PP Horse Jockey Odds

    1 Game On Dude Smith 8-5

    2Finnegans WakeLeparoux 20-1

    3Bourbon CourageLanerie 8-1

    4 Golden Ticket Albarado 9-2

    5 Prayer for Relief Santana 12-1

    6 Easter Gift Rosario 12-1

    7Will Take ChargeSaez 9-5

    8Our Double PlayTorres 20-1

    9 Jaguar PawBridgmohan20-1

Game On Dude has yet to shake the stigma of repeatedly coming up short in the Breeders' Cup Classic, but the multiple Grade I winner is well-versed in rebounding from such disappointment.

The 6-year-old gelding will aim to continue that trend in Friday's Grade I, $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

On the heels of his ninth-place finish as the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic this month, Game On Dude was installed as the 8-5 morning-line choice after drawing the rail in a field of nine entered Tuesday for what figures to be a salty edition of the 11⁄8-mile Clark.

While not a total salve for the fact Game On Dude has suffered three consecutive losses in the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Bob Baffert-trainee has won in his first start back after those defeats the past two years.

This year's Clark will be a staunch test of how much the seven-time Grade I winner has left for what will be his seventh start of 2013. Will Take Charge, winner of this year's Grade I Travers, is wheeling back after falling a nose short of Mucho Macho Man in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Fellow Grade I winner Golden Ticket is looming off a second-place run in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

Will Take Charge was made the 9-5 second choice out of post No. 7 as he tries to put the icing on a campaign in which he has emerged as the favorite to be named champion 3-year-old male.

Unlike both Game On Dude and Will Take Charge, Golden Ticket does have a prior win over the Churchill Downs track, taking a 1-mile allowance in May. Graded stakes winner Bourbon Courage ran third in the Clark last season and has hit the board in three of four starts at Churchill.


Clark Handicap

When: 5:35 p.m. Friday

Where: Churchill Downs

Purse: $500,000 (Grade I)

Distance: 11⁄8 miles

For: 3-year-olds and up

TV: HRTV

PP Horse Jockey Odds

1 Game On Dude Smith 8-5

2Finnegans WakeLeparoux 20-1

3Bourbon CourageLanerie 8-1

4 Golden Ticket Albarado 9-2

5 Prayer for Relief Santana 12-1

6 Easter Gift Rosario 12-1

7Will Take ChargeSaez 9-5

8Our Double PlayTorres 20-1

9 Jaguar PawBridgmohan20-1

Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676. Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com. Twitter: @horseracinghl.

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