Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike left his army of fans deflated at Churchill Downs on Friday, when he trailed in last of six behind the progressive Proxy in the G1 Clark Stakes 2022, the main event of the weekend. Bubble Rock supporters were much happier after the filly led all the way to justify favouritism in the supporting G2 Mrs. Revere.
G1, $750,000, 1m 1f dirt, 3yo+
Proxy breaks through at last
It was a long wait but it was all worthwhile in the end, as Proxy finally registered his first stakes success – and a big one at that – when landing the feature Clark at Churchill Downs on Friday.
The Godolphin runner had continually come up short at Graded level but everything fell into place this time, the 5-2 third-choice able to utilise his finishing kick in a race run at a slow pace. Proxy sat in behind the front-running favourite West Will Power from the gate and ran him down in the final sixteenth, easing away to win by three-quarters of a length, stopping the clock in 1:48 and four-fifths.
Fulsome made no show but kept on late for third, two and a half lengths back, and the big disappointment of the race was Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, who finished last of six, with the brevity of the three-week turnaround since the Breeders’ Cup given the blame for his lacklustre performance.
“Proxy was very professional today,” said jockey Joel Rosario, collecting his second Clark trophy. “The leader didn’t want to give in, he was very tough, and I had to work very hard to get by him.”
Clark Stakes Race Video
Proxy is no longer an underachiever and trainer Michael Stidham has big plans for the Tapit colt, indicating that the ten-furlong G1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March would be his main objective in the first half of 2023, in which he could well renew rivalry with Rich Strike. Stidham won the World Cup last year with Mystic Guide, also owned by Godolphin.
Mrs. Revere Stakes
G2, $300,000, 1m 1/16 turf, 3yo fillies
Rock rolls all the way
Front-runners made hay here on Thursday and the tactic paid dividends again in the Mrs. Revere, with 8-5 favourite Bubble Rock going gate-to-wire to post the biggest victory of her career.
In a race in which the first three at the clubhouse turn were the first three at the wire, Bubble Rock was allowed to please herself on the lead under Joel Rosario, and there was plenty left in the tank to turn back the posse and score by a length and a quarter in a time of 1:45 and change. The longshots Joyful Applause and Take A Stand, separated by a length and a half, filled out the board.
Mrs. Revere Stakes Race Video
“I’m very proud of that effort,” said trainer Brad Cox. “She’s run well on the synthetic surface at Turfway Park so that could be a target for her over the winter.”
Bubble Rock is now four-for-ten, and the daughter of More Than Ready was adding the Mrs. Revere to a resume that includes success in last year’s G3 Matron.
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