10/28/2008 12:00AM

Clark next for Mambo in Seattle?


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Mambo in Seattle, never a serious threat in the Fayette Stakes last Saturday at Keeneland when seventh as the 6-5 favorite, might try to make amends in the $500,000 Clark Handicap on Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs, said trainer Neil Howard.

"It's something we'll consider when we see how the horse does after he's been back to the track for a few days," said Howard.

Jockey Corey Lanerie said after the Fayette that Mambo in Seattle did not seem to care for the Polytrack at Keeneland.

"Commensurate with what Corey said, when I was watching the race I felt right off the bat that the horse just wasn't handling it," said Howard. "The good thing is he came back good and healthy and happy."

Howard said a Clark run could depend partly on whether Curlin's owner Jess Jackson decides a victory in that Grade 2 race might be needed to further Curlin's cause in the 2008 Horse of the Year voting. Curlin returned Monday evening to Churchill following a flight from California, where he finished fourth as a heavy favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Saturday.

"The only thing that has been discussed was his travel arrangements back here to Kentucky," said trainer Steve Asmussen.

Meanwhile, Ball Four enjoyed a remarkable resurgence in the Fayette, earning a 101 Beyer Speed Figure with his front-running upset at 21-1. A 7-year-old gelding owned by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, Ball Four had raced just once since March 2007, finishing eighth in the Marfa Stakes at Turfway Park on Sept. 13.

"He's never been doing so good," said trainer Derek Galvin.

Ball Four, a winner on dirt, turf, and synthetics, also will be considered for the Clark, Galvin said.

Watch Rachel Alexandra in Pocahontas

Hal Wiggins has had some pretty good horses in more than 30 years of training Thoroughbreds, so when he calls Rachel Alexandra "probably as good a horse as I've ever trained," it's time to take notice.

Rachel Alexandra, a 2-year-old filly who returned from minor ankle surgery to win a recent allowance race at Keeneland, will make her next start Saturday at Churchill in the Grade 3, $100,000 Pocahontas Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

Rachel Alexandra, bred and owned by Dolph Morrison, has run four times, winning twice and finishing second in the Debutante Stakes at Churchill in July.

"She does everything right," said Wiggins, 65. "We have high hopes, but in this business you just keep your fingers crossed and take one step at a time."

Rachel Alexandra will be one of two starters in the one-mile Pocahontas for Wiggins, whose best horses have been Morris Code, Yukon Robbery, Chorwon, and Lotta Kim, the dam of Rachel Alexandra. Wiggins also will run another Morrison homebred, Abbott Hall, winner of a Louisiana Downs turf stakes last month.

The Pocahontas will be the co-feature of the first Stars of Tomorrow program of the meet, sharing top billing with the Iroquois Stakes, a Grade 3, $100,000 race for 2-year-old colts and geldings going a mile.

Besides the two stakes, an 11-race Saturday card also is scheduled to include four allowance races and four maiden special weight races, all for 2-year-olds.

A second Stars of Tomorrow card is scheduled for closing day, Nov. 29.

Stall covers two fronts

While trainer Al Stall Jr. was getting two of his stable stars ready for the Breeders' Cup this month, he also happened to compile a nifty record at the Keeneland fall meet. Stall had 6 wins and 5 seconds from just 16 starters at Keeneland.

"That's the best I've ever done at Keeneland, by far," said Stall. "I've had my share of goose eggs there."

Meanwhile, Stall was pleased with fourth-place finishes from Terrain in the BC Juvenile and My Pal Charlie in the BC Dirt Mile.

"I'm very happy that we fit in, because you get out there and just worry how you're going to do," he said.

Stall said both horses will soon join his stable at the Fair Grounds, where Terrain will be pointed to the $750,000 Delta Jackpot on Dec. 5 and My Pal Charlie will "get a little time off before we start looking at the handicaps at the Fair Grounds."

Stall will maintain a 20-horse stable at Churchill through the end of the meet before assimilating them into his Fair Grounds stable, which currently numbers about 30.

Thorwarth aims for Nov. 30 return

Jockey Otto Thorwarth suffered a broken collarbone when thrown from Dr. Pleasure in a spill Saturday in the Fayette. Thorwarth's agent, Mary Ellis, said the 38-year-old jockey hopes to be back riding in time for the Nov. 30 opening of the winter-spring meet at Turfway Park.

"It was a clean break, and Otto is doing great already," said Ellis.

Thorwarth had a terrific fall meet at Turfway, missing out on the riding title by just one winner.

* Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux is named on five horses Thursday at Churchill in his first day back since the Breeders' Cup. Desormeaux, who moved his wife and two sons back to California from New York this year, spent a few days with them before returning for the balance of the meet.

* Election Day, Nov. 4, will be dark but there will be racing on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.