11/18/2011 3:26PM

Churchill: Flat Out targets Clark as consolation prize

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Barbara D. Livingston
Flat Out, the beaten favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic, will likely be favored again in the Clark Handicap.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – If Flat Out had lived up to his role as the 7-2 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, he wouldn’t be running back nearly three weeks later in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

But he didn’t, and he is. Now it looks like Flat Out, fifth behind Drosselmeyer in the Nov. 5 BC Classic, might well be the favorite again when heading a terrific field of 3-year-olds and upward next Friday in the Grade 1, $500,000 Clark.

“I’m sure if we’d won that would’ve been it for him,” said Scooter Dickey, who trains 5-year-old Flat Out for Art Preston. “But this horse likes to run anyway, so we’re happy he came out of it as good as he did, and we can try the Clark.”

Dickey noted that Flat Out was running on just two weeks’ rest when he surged to a break-out victory this past summer in the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park. “It doesn’t bother me at all, bringing him back like this,” he said.

Flat Out is one of about 11 expected for the 1 1/8-mile Clark, for which weight assignments were to be released Friday, with entries being drawn Tuesday. The others are Demarcation, General Quarters, Headache, Mission Impazible, Mister Marti Gras, Pleasant Prince, Prayer for Relief, Ruler On Ice, Stately Victor, and Wise Dan.

The Clark lost its defending champion Thursday when Giant Oak was involved in a training mishap at Hawthorne.