Moving off the rail around the turn for home, Trademark came through with a rousing finish and nosed out First Mission in the $600,000 Clark (G2) at Churchill Downs on Friday.
Given a perfect ride along the rail by jockey Fernando De La Cruz while sitting comfortably in fourth, Trademark was taken three wide as the field came out of the final turn. The 4-year-old son of Upstart moved past Film Star, then took on First Mission in a duel to the finish.
Sent off at 13-1, Trademark returned a handsome ($28.20 on a $2 win bet) to those who did not overlook his somewhat surprising long odds. Trained by Victoria Oliver, Trademark upped his 2023 record to 9-2-2-1 and moved his career earnings to over $1 million (22-6-3-1) for owner BBN Racing.
Stage Raider, a 20-1 longshot, botched the start, bucking up out of the gate and was a non-contender throughout.
Il Miracolo closed nicely to finish third, followed by Blue Devil, Gasoline, Film Star, Straight Arrow, Giant Game, and Stage Raider. Happy American was a trainer’s scratch.
The winning time was 1:49.95.
On the undercard, favorite Brad Cox-trained Heavenly Sunday ($4.82) cruised to a five-length victory over Beach Walkn in the off-the-turf $300,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes.
Three horses were scratched: Bling, Hay Stack, and Watch This Birdie.
Earlier Friday, Churchill Downs canceled turf racing for the final days of the meet, which ends Sunday. It’s the latest setback for a $10 million course installed before the start of the 2022 racing season at the track.
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