Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs

Florida Derby winner Constitution and Rebel winner Hoppertunity headline a cast of horses nominated to the Grade 1, $500,000 Clark Handicap on November 28 at Churchill Downs. Named for track founder Col. M. Lewis Clark, the 1 1/8-mile dirt contest will be renewed for the 140th time as the featured event on "Black Friday" of the Fall Meet's closing weekend.

Constitution, like Hoppertunity, was another talented Kentucky Derby hopeful, until a hairline fracture was discovered in his front right cannon bone, eliminating him from Derby consideration. The Todd Pletcher trainee returned to racing October 12 at Belmont Park where he finished fourth in an allowance event, beaten by 1 1/2 lengths. Through four starts, Constitution carries a record of 3-0-0 with earnings of $653,600.

Breeders' Cup Classic winner Bayern, who was also nominated to the Clark, is an unlikely starter according to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Instead, he is pointing Hoppertunity to the Clark.

After taking Oaklawn's Rebel and finishing second behind eventual Kentucky Derby-winner California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby, Hoppertunity was a highly-regarded contender for the Derby but was scratched from the race after a left-front foot issue was detected. Hoppertunity resumed training in September and made his return in an allowance event on October 29 at Santa Anita where he finished second beaten a half-length. Hopperunity has earned $622,720 from a 2-2-0 record through six starts.

Other Clark nominees include the Steve Asmussen-trained Tapiture, who was a game second, 1 1/4 lengths back of the impressive Goldencents in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile; the Dale Romans trained duo of Fayette winner Pick of the Litter and multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Prayer for Relief, who finished 12th in the Classic; the Al Stall Jr.-trained Departing, the multiple Grade 2 winner and earner of more than $1.5 million who finished second to Pick of the Litter in the Fayette; the Chad Brown-trained duo of Suburban Handicap winner and Jockey Club Gold Cup runner-up Zivo and Easter Gift, who was third in last year's Clark; and Cary Street, who impressively won the Las Vegas Marathon on the Breeders' Cup undercard for trainer Brendan Walsh.

Don't Tell Sophia and Molly Morgan highlight a cast of 23 fillies and mares nominated to the 99th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Falls City Handicap to be contested on Thanksgiving Day, November 27.

Don't Tell Sophia, who has banked $1,339,295 with a record of 23-11-5-3, turned in a mild upset victory in the Spinster at Keeneland and followed that with a runner-up performance in the Breeders' Cup Distaff where she finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Untapable. The six-year-old mare by Congaree has provided quite the return on investment for her owners, who purchased her for $1,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. She finished second in last year's Falls City behind Wine Princess.

The Dale Romans-trained Molly Morgan was an impressive 2 1/4-length winner in the $200,000 Chilukki beneath the Twin Spires on November 1. Prior to that, she finished third behind Don't Tell Sophia and Ria Antonia in the Spinster at Keeneland and ran second to Don't Tell Sophia in the September 6 Locust Grove at Churchill Downs. She carries a record of 7-4-6 through 26 starts and has earned $662,407.

Other notable Falls City nominees include Bob Baffert-trained Jojo Warrior, a multiple graded stakes winner of $371,981 who finished third in her last start at Parx in the Cotillion on September 20; Tiz Windy, winner of the Indiana Oaks in her last start for trainer Carl Nafzger; and Canadian-bred Strut the Course, trained by Barbara Minshall, who has won her last three starts by a combined 13 3/4 lengths at Woodbine, including her most recent score in the 1 1/4-mile Maple Leaf on November 1.