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Nov 16, 2012

Pool Play to go in Clark Handicap


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - In a quick turn around from the Breeders' Cup, 7-year-old Pool Play is being point toward the $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 23. Trainer Mark Casse may also enter two others in the 1 1/8-mile stakes.

"Pool Play loves Churchill Downs," Casse said. "It's coming back a little quick (from the Breeders' Cup Classic), but I think he just kind of went around the track in California. Also, this race is hard to pass up when we know he likes it here."

Owned by Bill Farish Jr., Pool Play won last year's Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill but did not start again until this July when he was fourth in the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes at Woodbine.

Following another fourth in Woodbine's Seagram Cup Stakes and a third in Arlington Park's Washington Park Handicap, Pool Play won the Hawthorne Gold Cup. He finished eighth in a 12-horse field in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 3.

The 7-year-old has won seven of 33 career starts for more than $1.24 million.

Casse, one of Canada's leading trainers, is also considering entering Stealcase and Delegation in the Clark.

Delegation, owned by Gary and Cecil Barber, was third in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile behind Tapizar and would be making his Churchill debut in the Clark.

"With the exception of (Breeders' Cup Sprint winner) Trinniberg, (Delegation) was one of the only 3-year-olds to get close (in the Breeders' Cup)," Casse said. "I think he's a really good horse."

Casse is likely to also nominate Delegation for the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 24.

Unraced as a 2-year-old, Delegation won the Durham Cup at Woodbine on Oct. 14 prior to his Breeders' Cup start. The gelding has banked $349,045 with four wins in seven races.

The third horse from Casse's barn that could start in the Clark is 3-year-old Stealcase. Owned by John Oxley, the colt notched his first stakes victory in September in Woodbine's Ontario Derby and is coming off a third in the Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill.

"We'll nominate Stealcase to the Clark and the Cigar Mile, as well," Casse said. "It's possible we'll run two, but we won't run all three."

Stealcase has found the winner's circle three times in 13 career starts for $329,574.

The 2011 Clark was won by recent Breeders' Cup Mile champ Wise Dan.

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