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Dec 03, 2010

Clark Handicap awarded to Giant Oak


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Giant Oak, winless in 2010, benefited from the disqualification of post-time favorite Successful Dan in being awarded the victory in Friday's $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Successful Dan, ridden by Julien Leparoux, was sent off as the 9-5 favorite in the 11 horse field. Giant Oak, with Shaun Bridgmohan riding, was an 11-1 longshot.

Both Successful Dan and Giant Oak came from off the pace to take the lead down the stretch. The two four-year-olds battled the last 100 yards in the 1 1/8- mile race.

However, while Successful Dan edged Giant Oak at the wire the favorite was disqualified for bumping, not only Giant Oak, but also Redding Colliery at the top of the stretch.

Giant Oak was given his first win of the year with Redding Colliery placed from third to second and Successful Dan moved from first to third.

Demarcation was also disqualified from fourth to last for bumping.

The official order of finish was Giant Oak, Redding Colliery, Successful Dan, Win Willy, Duke of Mischief, Brass Hat, Apart, Regal Ransom, Stately Victor, Dubious Miss and Demarcation.

The time for the 136th Clark Handicap was 1:50.82 on a fast track.

Giant Oak is trained by Chris Block for the Virginia H. Tarra Trust. The chestnut colt picked up $300,000 with the win and has one win in 10 starts this year.

"He always runs to the best of his ability," said the trainer prior to the Clark. "In the races he has run, he has to give up ground to make his run. It is tough to do that running against that kind of company. He can't be stuck inside and in traffic because he can't quicken fast enough."

The four-year-old was coming out of the Breeders' Cup Marathon three weeks ago, another race where he was moved up due to a disqualification. Giant Oak was placed from fifth to fourth in the Marathon at Churchill Downs.

The colt has career earnings of $927,977 with four wins and five seconds in 23 starts. The Clark is Giant Oak's first graded stakes victory.

Giant Oak returned $24.20, $10.00 and $5.00. Redding Colliery paid $6.00 and $3.80, and Successful Dan paid $3.00 to show.

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