First Mission Continues Preparation for G2 Clark

November 9, 2023

First Mission wins the Lexington (G3) April 15 at Keeneland (Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)

Churchill Downs Press Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Godolphin’s lightly-raced 3-year-old First Mission continues to train at Churchill Downs in preparation for a start in the $600,000 Clark Stakes (Grade II) on Friday, Nov. 24, the marquee race of the 134th Fall Meet.

Trained by Brad Cox, First Mission returned from a six-month layoff in an Oct. 14 allowance event at Keeneland, rallying from just off the early pace to defeat Commandperformance by a neck. Six months prior, the son of Street Sense won the Lexington Stakes (GIII), defeating Arabian Lion and Disarm, and quickly became one of the favorites for the Preakness (GI).

About 36 hours from the Preakness, First Mission was scratched from the race with a minor ankle injury. After getting some time off, First Mission returned to Cox’s Churchill Downs base in August and has been regularly working towards his return.

Nominations for the Nov. 24 Clark closed Wednesday. The 1 1/8-mile event is also expected to include fellow Grade III-winning 3-year-old Il Miracolo. Owned by Alexandres LLC and trained by Antonio Sano, Il Miracolo shipped into Churchill Downs 10 days ago to begin his preparations for the race.

The Clark is one of nine stakes events across the final four days of racing at the Fall Meet. The Clark program will also include the $300,000 Mrs. Revere (GIII) at 1 1/16 miles on turf. On Thanksgiving Day, the 12-race program is highlighted by the $400,000 Falls City (GIII) and $300,000 Cardinal (GIII). Saturday, Nov. 25 is Stars of Tomorrow II, which is led by the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) and $400,000 Golden Rod (GII). The 12-race card for all 2-year-olds also includes the $225,000 Ed Brown and $225,000 Fern Creek. The Fall Meet will close Sunday, Nov. 26 with the $300,000 Commonwealth Turf (GIII).

The full list of probable entrants will be announced in the coming days.

@jonathanstettin What a surprise….thank you—- thank you….I can say I was part of history.

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