11/23/2010 4:05PM

Apart faces 10 rivals in Clark Handicap


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Apart was assigned post 2 when 11 3-year-olds and upward were entered Tuesday for the Grade 1 Clark Handicap, which will be run Friday for the 136th time at Churchill Downs. As a 3-year-old owned by Adele Dilschneider and trained by Al Stall Jr., Apart will be trying to follow in the footsteps of his more accomplished former stablemate, Blame, winner of the 2009 Clark on his way to a triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic nearly a year later.

“It’d be kind of silly to think you could have the whole plan come together again the way we did with Blame,” said the red-hot Stall, who won with 5 of his first 6 starters at the Churchill fall meet, and 6 of his first 9, including Blame in the Nov.  6 BC Classic. “But this horse has earned his shot.”

Using a stalking, grinding style, Apart comes into the $500,000 Clark with three straight stakes victories, including the Sept. 20 Super Derby and the Nov. 5 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill, which came against older horses.

Stall has been overseeing the bulk of his stable in New Orleans in preparation for the upcoming Fair Grounds meet since shortly after the Breeders’ Cup, while Apart has trained at Keeneland. Stall said he will travel by air Friday morning to Louisville.

Garrett Gomez, who rode Blame in the Classic, will be back aboard Apart, who will carry 118 pounds in the 1 1/8-mile Clark, three pounds fewer than high-weighted Successful Dan, the flashy Fayette Stakes winner who will break right alongside Apart in post 3 with Julien Leparoux aboard.

Other major Clark contenders include Dubious Miss (post 1), 4 for 6 lifetime at Churchill; Redding Colliery (post 5), winner of the Oct. 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup last out; Brass Hat (post 6), the venerable 9-year-old with more than $2.2 million in earnings; Stately Victor (post 7), the only other 3-year-old in the field; and Duke of Mischief (post 11), a Florida shipper with more than $955,000 in earnings.

Rounding out the lineup are Giant Oak (post 4), Win Willy (post 8), Regal Ransom (post 9), and Demarcation (post 10).
The Clark highlights a 12-race Friday card that historically draws the biggest ontrack crowd of the fall meet in non-Breeders’ Cup years. First post Friday through Sunday will be 12:40 p.m. Eastern, meaning the Clark (race 11, 5:42) and the last race (6:10) will be run after sundown and under the lights.