How to bet With, and Against, Rich Strike in the Clark Stakes
A strong field of seven will go postward in Friday’s lucrative $750,000 Clark S. (G1) at Churchill Downs. Kentucky Derby (G1) hero #4 Rich Strike (2-1) has validated his class while running well with some of the top horses in training as of late, and the Classic winner is the one to beat in this endeavor.
Rich Strike – With
- $20 exacta: 4 with 1, 7 ($40)
Rich Strike – Against
- $2 trifecta: 1, 7 with 1, 4, 7 with all ($40)
Trained by Eric Reed, Rich Strike loves the local strip while sporting a 3-2-1-0 line in Louisville, which includes a fine runner-up try in the Lukas Classic S. (G3) here two prior when finishing a head second. By Keen Ice, the chestnut comes off a fourth-place result in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) behind the otherworldly Flightline while defeating many good ones in that journey.
The Calumet Farm-bred sophomore possesses a fine turn of foot and will be tough to hold off with his leading performance on Friday with regular pilot Sonny Leon in the silks. He will be taken back early before putting in one run down the stretch. .
#7 West Will Power (5-2) has a big chance to control the race from the opening bell for conditioner Brad Cox. By Bernardini, the five-year-old has never been better since joining this outfit with two wins and a narrow second on his resume, which includes a fine allowance triumph beneath the Twin Spires two back.
The Kentucky-bred bay lands in a field with little pace in the fold, and I envision the obvious win contender to sit a fine trip to the top of the lane while clear throughout under Luis Saez. West Will Power will be forcing the action from the opening bell.
#1 Proxy (7-2) was a smart third behind a superb duo in the Stephen Foster S. (G2) on this oval most recently and is a surefire top-three presence in the field for Mike Stidham. The well-bred son of Tapit rarely runs a poor race, and his recent morning drills indicate that he will fire his best shot on Friday with Joel Rosario in the silks.
The Godolphin homebred has elevated his game in 2022 and has hit the board in both of his Churchill Downs assignments to date. I envision the four-year-old hugging the rail and save ground to the top of the stretch.