Contested under light rain over a firm turf course, the Clark attracted ten runners. At the end of the one mile test, Hudson Steele had won by 2-1/4 lengths with Monument Hill rallying past El Commodore to take second. The winning time was 1:38.50.
“I spoke to Todd this morning and he said he was a really nice horse, ‘he’s going to give you a really good turn of foot’,” said DeCarlo, who was riding Hudson Steele for the first time. “He broke sharp and put me in a good spot. I was biding my time, just waiting to go. As soon as I asked my horse he took off, kind of idled a little bit once we hit the turn but I cracked him once or twice and he just went on. He’s a nice horse.”
The son of Johannesburg has won four of six on the grass with a victory in the Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park and a runner-up finish in the Fort Marcy Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park on his resume. Pletcher indicated he may point his budding turf star to the $300,000 Dixie Stakes (G2), which is set to be run over this course on Preakness Day, May 19.
“He got a perfect trip and it was a solid comeback,” Pletcher said. “We will see how he comes back and keep an eye on the Dixie.”
Other Clark runners that could make a return visit to Pimlico for the Dixie include Humble and Hungry (fourth place) and Concealed Identity (seventh).
Hudson Steele paid $6.20. The exacta returned $20.60 and the triple came back $141.40.