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Nov 23, 2011

Flat Out returns in Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Defeated Breeders' Cup Classic favorite Flat Out makes a quick turnaround for Friday's $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile dirt race has attracted a solid field of 13.

Flat Out, trained by Scooter Dickey, will be ridden by Alex Solis from post six. The five-year-old is owned by Preston Stables and is the probable morning-line favorite.

Flat Out went off as the 7-2 favorite in the $5 million Classic at Churchill Downs on November 5. He broke from the inside post in the 12-horse field and raced in eighth for most of the 1 1/4-miles. Under Solis, the horse finished fifth just three-lengths behind the winner Drosselmeyer.

The five-year-old posted victories this year in the Suburban Handicap and Jockey Club Gold Cup. He was second in the Lone Star Park, Whitney and Woodward Handicaps and sixth in Churchill's Stephen Foster Handicap.

In 13 career starts, Flat Out has earned more than $1.2 million with five wins.

Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice has drawn the rail post with Garrett Gomez getting the mount again. Owned by George and Lori Hall, the three-year-old colt is coming off a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic as a 17-1 longshot.

"I'm very happy to report that he came out of the race in good order and he's currently in great shape," trainer Kelly Breen said. "He's eating well and training well. He's a lean, mean fighting machine.

"We're thinking that if he wins this race then he is in the running for champion three-year-old. That would give us two Grade I wins and he would be beating older horses (in the Clark)."

Since winning the Belmont in June, Ruler On Ice was third in the Haskell, fourth in the Travers and runner-up in the Pennsylvania Derby. The colt has won three times in 11 career starts for better than $1.6 million.

Another highly regarded three-year-old entered is multiple stakes winner Prayer for Relief. The colt will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano from post 12 for trainer Bob Baffert and Zayat Stables.

Since returning to the races in May, Prayer for Relief has won the Iowa, West Virginia and Super Derbies and was third in the Oklahoma Derby. This year he has earned just under $1 million in five starts.

Here is the complete field for the Clark in post position order: Ruler On Ice, Garrett Gomez; Alma d'Oro, Jesus Castanon; Demarcation, Corey Lanerie; Stately Victor, Victor Lebron; Mission Impazible, Javier Castellano; Flat Out, Alex Solis; Pleasant Prince, J A Garcia; Headache, Edgar Prado; Mister Marti Gras, Rajiv Maragh; Will's Wildcat, Calvin Borel; Wise Dan, John Velazquez; Prayer for Relief, Rafael Bejarano and General Quarters, Jon Court.

Post-time for the Clark Handicap is set for 5:45 p.m. (et).

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