03/12/2004 12:00AM

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Thomas Bartlett Clark, 61, author of "Down on the Backside" and longtime volunteer with the Arizona chapter of the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America, died March 6 after a battle with cancer. Donations in his memory may be made to the Race Track Chaplaincy program at Turf Paradise or to the Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ, 85014. . . . The Oxley Foundation, based in Tulsa, Okla., has issued a challenge grant of up to $1 million to Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation to raise funds dedicated to the safety and health of horses. Under the challenge, the research foundation can qualify for matching funds of $1 million over the next four years by raising $250,000 annually in new contributions. . . . Warren Groce has been hired as racing secretary at Evangeline Downs, which opens a Thoroughbred meet on April 1. Groce, 65, has spent the past 13 years working as a racing secretary at either Sportsman's Park, Hoosier Park, or Ellis Park.