Kentucky-bred Bodexpress grabbed the lead with three-sixteenths of a mile to run and fended off a stern challenge from fellow Kentucky-bred Code of Honor to triumph in the $500,000 Clark S. (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 27. Owendale finished third, completing a Kentucky-bred sweep of the top three placings.
Campaigned by Top Racing LLC (Lucas Noreiga), Global Thoroughbred (Rafael Celis), and GDS Racing Stable (Gustavo Delgado), Bodexpress covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.12 with jockey Rafael Bejarano aboard for trainer Gustavo Delgado. The $282,100 winner’s share of the purse increased his bankroll to $694,600 and improved his record to 4-4-3 from 17 outings.
“This horse just showed so much run today,” said Bejarano. “I’m so proud of him. He relaxed very nicely for me and turning for home I could feel I still had a lot of horse underneath me. He had a lot of energy in deep stretch when we needed it to hold off the rest of the horses. It’s very special winning a race like this returning to Kentucky to ride this year. This is my home and we’ve had a lot of success here in my career. This was very special.”
The Clark was the initial stakes score for Bodexpress, a 4-year-old son of Bodemiester. He was runner-up in the 2019 Florida Derby (G1) and entered the Clark off a dominating 11 ¼-length allowance victory at Gulfstream Park West. Bodexpress was bred in the Bluegrass by Martha Jane Mulholland, and he is out of the City Zip mare Pied a Tierre.
A 2017 Keeneland September yearling and a graduate of the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Old sale, Bodexpress will now likely target a start in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 23.