2022 Clark Stakes Odds & Mrs. Revere Stakes Preview

Stardust is sprinkled over the twin spires of Churchill Downs on Friday with the return of shock Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, who stands out from the crowd in the G1 2022 Clark Stakes, the highlight of Thanksgiving weekend. The supporting G2 Mrs. Revere is a competitive affair despite a lack of true quality, in which California Angel and Bubble Rock renew rivalry after they were separated by just a half-length at Keeneland last time.

Clark Stakes

G1, $750,000, 1m 1f dirt, 3yo+, 5.56pm ET

One of the biggest names in racing lights up the post-Thanksgiving Day card at Churchill Downs on Friday, a bona fide celebrity returning to the scene of his finest hour, signing off for the year in the feature Clark.

Just over six months ago Rich Strike ran himself into racing immortality by winning the G1 Kentucky Derby here, springing a massive upset at 80-1 when picking up the pieces after a suicidal early pace had smashed the race apart.

He hasn’t won in four starts since, prompting many to consider him a fluke winner, below-par, but his recent form is rock-solid: fourth in the G1 Travers at Saratoga, runner-up in the G2 Lukas Classic over course and distance, and then fourth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland when the race was really all about who could finish second. Rich Strike was beaten three lengths by the runner-up Olympiad after losing at least that much when he was carried wide by the stricken Epicenter, and that is form today’s rivals can only dream wistfully about.

Rich Strike also loves Churchill Downs, scene of both his career victories, and its long stretch is the perfect stage for his habitual strong late finish. Everything is set up perfectly for him today, with the only slight concern being the three-week turnaround from the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

His biggest rival may be West Will Power, who made his stakes breakthrough when winning the G2 Fayette at Keeneland over a mile-eighth, taking them gate-to-wire and stretching clear to score by six and three-quarter lengths from the rallying Fulsome, who had three-quarters of a length in hand over the fading Last Samurai.

There’s no obvious reason why the place and show horses should flip the form with West Will Power, who may be still improving and figures to be on the lead again, but he will give Rich Strike plenty to run at and has yet to prove that he belongs at G1 level.

Collateral form comes from Injunction, who beat West Will Power and Last Samurai by a head and three-quarters of a length in a stakes at Ellis Park in August, although that was West Will Power’s first start for 11 months and not the best illustration of his ability. Injunction then ran second in the G3 Ack Ack here over a mile – Fulsome well back in fifth – but this is a huge rise in class and he could be out of his depth.

A record of zero-for-eight in stakes suggests Proxy is in the wrong race, but he turned in a career-best when third in the G2 Stephen Foster over course and distance in July, five lengths behind Olympiad. That puts him only a little way behind Rich Strike and, despite his near five-month layoff, he should interest exotics players. Keeneland allowance optional claimer winner Trademark, zero-for-seven in stakes, has a mountain to climb.

2022 Clark Stakes Betting Odds & Betting Pick

This is an ideal set-up for Kentucky Derby winner RICH STRIKE, who loves the track, has solid G1 form in his corner, and can finally return to the winner’s circle.

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
ProxyJoel Rosario+350
TrademarkMartin Garcia+2000
InjunctionRafael Bejarano+600
Rich StrikeSonny Leon+200
FulsomeFlorent Geroux+600
Last SamuraiTyler Gaffalione+1000
West Will PowerLuis Saez+250

Mrs. Revere Stakes

G2, $300,000, 1m 1/16 turf, 3yo fillies, 4.57pm ET

The talent is thinner on the ground in the Mrs. Revere, a race that serves as a lucrative consolation for some second-tier sophomore distaffers, but the big field makes it a tricky test to solve.

The pick of the Graded-stakes form belongs to California Angel, although she’s winless since taking the G2 Jessamine at Keeneland last October. Her last two starts – both at Keeneland – have signalled a return to her best, though, firstly when keeping on for fourth in the mile-eighth G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, with She’s Gone three and a quarter lengths back in fifth on her stakes debut, and then when leaving it too late in the G3 Valley View over a mile-sixteenth, rallying from a long way back to be second.

She was a half-length ahead of fading front-runner Bubble Rock in fourth and another three and a quarter lengths clear of the hard-working Lady Puchi in sixth, and if she can be as effective away from Keeneland she has good claims to snap that losing streak. Bubble Rock’s only victory this year came on the synthetic surface at Turfway Park, but her penchant for being on the pace could serve her well in this low-key company.

Lady Puchi is one of three entries from Kenny McPeek, the pick of whom is probably recent Keeneland allowance winner Lovely Princess, the choice of jockey Brian Hernandez. Their barnmate Sweet Lady Ivanka returns to the fray just two weeks after breaking her maiden here over a mile-eighth.

Also coming off the back of a maiden score – at the eighth attempt – is Quality Star, who finally got the job done by four lengths at Keeneland, which was the venue for the allowance win of Fancy Martini, a 54-1 longshot who had previously been well beaten on her stakes debut at Kentucky Downs. Stakes debutante Joyful Applause comes off victory in a maiden at Horseshoe Indianapolis and a narrow defeat in an allowance over course and distance, and is at least going the right way.

French import Have A Good Day showed plenty of quality as a juvenile, winning the six-furlong G3 Cabourg at Deauville before running down the field in G1s at the same track and at Newmarket. She’s struggled since shipping Stateside, though, off the board in three sprints, and there’s no knowing whether stretching right out beyond a mile for the first time will make a difference.

Mrs. Revere Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

Not a strong contest by any means, and it’s probably safest to leave it to CALIFORNIA ANGEL, whose solid recent Graded-stakes form gives her an edge.

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Take a StandDeclan Cannon+2000
She’s GoneRafael Bejarano+1000
Lady PuchiJulien R. Leparoux+800
Bubble RockJoel Rosario+250
Sweet Lady IvankaCorey J. Lanerie+1500
California AngelTyler Gaffalione+200
Lovely PrincessBrian Joseph Hernandez Jr.+800
Fancy MartiniLuis Saez+1200
Have A Good Day (IRE)Florent Geroux+1500
Quality StarJoseph Talamo+1200
Joyful ApplauseEdgar Morales+2000

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