10/12/2011 4:15PM

Santa Anita: Clearance Clarence back from layoff


ARCADIA, Calif. – For a gelding ending an 11-month layoff at Santa Anita on Friday, a lot has happened to Clearance Clarence since he finished third in the Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park last November.

After he finished third behind Comma to the Top and Prayer for Relief in the Real Quiet, Clearance Clarence was partially sold and transferred from George Papaprodromou to trainer Bob Baffert. Earlier this year, Clearance Clarence suffered an injury and was turned out. During that time, owner John Petrig bought out his new partner and moved Clearance Clarence back to Papaprodromou.

Clearance Clarence has been with Papaprodromou’s barn at Santa Anita since July. Friday, Clearance Clarence starts from the rail in a starter allowance over a mile on turf. The starter allowance is a feature race on a modest eight-race program at Santa Anita.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him run,” Papaprodromou said. “He’s training great and coming along pretty good after getting a little hurt.
“He’s eligible for a starter, and we might as well try it coming out of a layoff.”

Clearance Clarence, by Cryptoclearance, has one victory in four starts, a $32,000 claiming race for maidens at Del Mar in September 2010. He was fourth behind Jaycito in the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Hollywood Park last October before the third-place finish in the Real Quiet.

In the last year, the form of the Real Quiet Stakes has turned out to be outstanding. Comma to the Top later won the Generous Stakes on turf and the CashCall Futurity and was second in the Santa Anita Derby. This year, Prayer for Relief has won three graded stakes, including the Grade 2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs last month. He will be favored in Sunday’s Remington Park Derby in Oklahoma.

Clearance Clarence rejoined Papaprodromou in the summer. The tendon injury that forced him to the sidelines is not a major issue, the trainer said.

“Knock on wood, it’s been great,” Papaprodromou said of the injury. “It’s holding pretty good. I think he’s a really nice horse and has the potential to be a nice horse.”

The starter allowance drew a field of eight. Clearance Clarence, who will race as a gelding for the first time, is the only runner with stakes experience. Several entrants have one win and numerous losses against winners at the starter allowance level.