Updated on 09/15/2011 1:29PM

Clark highweight Include vans in from Maryland


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Include arrived at Churchill Downs in mid-morning Tuesday after an uneventful overnight van ride from Maryland and was bedded down in the barn of trainer Bill Mott, where he will reside until running Friday in the $400,000 Clark Handicap.

Include, trained by Grover "Bud" Delp, is the 120-pound highweight in a prospective field of nine in the Grade 2 Clark, the traditional highlight of the Churchill fall meet. Pat Day has the mount.

The rest of the field for the 127th running of the 1 1/8-mile Clark is expected to include: Gander, who also arrived here Tuesday following a flight from New York; Outofthebox, winner of the Grade 1 Super Derby two starts back; Connected, winner of the Fayette Stakes in his last start; and Storm Day, Takhodha Hills, Trion Georgia, Ubiquity, and Mr Ross.

Include, as the winner of the Grade 1 Pimlico Special in May, clearly is the marquee name in the Clark.

Owned by Robert Meyerhoff, the 4-year-old Broad Brush colt won five straight stakes this year, ending with the Pimlico Special and Massachusetts Handicap.

BC Juvenile runner-up Repent returns

Repent, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up, might be an even stronger favorite than Include when he runs Saturday in the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. The race will not land the unbeaten Mott-trained colt Listen Here, "unless it rains in New York and we can make travel arrangements to get him down here," said Mott assistant Ralph Nicks.

Without Listen Here, the main challengers for Repent in the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile KJC appear to be Sky Terrace, unbeaten in two local starts, and Gold Dollar, third in the Iroquois Stakes for D. Wayne Lukas.

The other probables are Request for Parole, Magic Bid, and Jeremiah Jack.

Golden Rod a wide-open race

The KJC's filly counterpart on Saturday, the $200,000 Golden Rod Stakes, is coming up with a more contentious look than its brother race.

Take Charge Lady and Belterra are the probable favorites in a prospective field of about eight 2-year-old fillies. Other candidates are Lotta Rhythm, Joanie's Bella, Bema, Blissful Kiss, Born to Dance, and Literary Light.

The KJC and Golden Rod help to close out the 24-day fall meet.

Morluc's race Thursday is a tune-up

The Thanksgiving Day undercard is a good one, with three allowance races and mostly full fields supporting the Falls City.

Probably the most notable entry on the undercard is Morluc, the turf-sprint specialist who should be a heavy favorite in the fifth race. Trainer Randy Morse is using the $61,100 allowance as a prep for the Dec. 16 Hong Kong Turf Sprint for Morluc, who was a narrowly beaten second in the same race last year.

Day away Saturday

Day might very well be on his way to another Churchill riding title, although he might need to have a cushion going into Saturday's closing-day card.

Day will be at Aqueduct Saturday to ride primarily for Mott, including Illusioned in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile. Illusioned was a sharp winner of the Ack Ack Stakes here opening day under Day.

Monarchos heading to Florida

Monarchos, the 2001 Kentucky Derby winner, is scheduled to be flown Monday to south Florida, where he will begin serious training at Gulfstream Park for his 4-year-old season.

*, trained by John T. Ward Jr., has been in light training at Keeneland for nearly two months but will not have his first serious breeze until arriving in Florida. The colt has not raced since finishing third in the June 9 Belmont Stakes, after which he was diagnosed with a minor injury that required several months' rest.

Backstretch emptying out

By this time next week, the customary liveliness of the Churchill backstretch will be all but gone. About half of the 1,400 horses stabled here will have headed south for the winter by then.

"I'd say it's about 50-50 out of here between New Orleans and Florida," said John Dickson, agent for Brookledge Horse Vans, one of the main transporters out of Churchill.

Turfway opens without a stakes race

Fans accustomed to watching the Holiday Inaugural Stakes on opening day of the holiday meet at Turfway Park will have to wait another week. There will be no stakes on the opening-day Sunday at the Florence, Ky., track.

The delay is due in part to how the calendar falls this year (early Thanksgiving and early meet opening), and in part to give fillies and mares who have been racing at Churchill an extra week of rest before running back in the Holiday Inaugural, which will begins the stakes schedule on Dec. 1.

* Rose of Zollern, a 5-year-old mare who won the HBPA Handicap in July for Mott and earned over $400,000, has been retired, said Nicks. Rose of Zollern, owned by Gary Tanaka, finished seventh in her final career start, the Churchill Downs Distaff on Nov. 3.

* Autumn finally caught up with Churchill Downs. While the weather for the first three weeks of the fall meet were dominated by temperatures in the 60's and 70's, a cold front moved in Monday. The forecast for the final stretch of the meet calls for 40's and 50's, with a chance of showers on Friday and Saturday.


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