July 18, 2024

Bodexpress earns first stakes win in Clark upset

Bodexpress wins the Clark Stakes (Coady Photography)

He became a social media sensation when continuing to run with the pack in the 2019 Preakness (G1) despite having reared and dropped jockey John Velazquez at the start, but the career of Bodexpress will now be remembered for a lot more after the 4-year-old colt posted an 11-1 upset in Friday’s $500,000 Clark Stakes (G1), Churchill Downs’ signature event for older horses.

Alternatively second and third stalking a pace set by outsider Phantom Currency, Bodexpress moved into second around the far turn after Mr Freeze seized control with an inside move. Taking over from Mr Freeze in upper stretch, Bodexpress responded to jockey Rafael Bejarano’s urgings and by a length held off the favored Code of Honor, ironically ridden by Velazquez.

“Coming for home I said, ‘it looks like he’s not going to stop this time,'” said Gustavo Delgado Jr., assistant to his father trainer. “Particularly for this race it felt like he was doing better than before. Pre-race he always wasted too much energy. The last few races he’s been more mature.”

Owned by Top Racing, Global Thoroughbred, and GDS Racing Stable, Bodexpress paid $25.40 after covering 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:49.12.

Code of Honor, the 8-5 public choice, finished a length ahead of Owendale. Coastal Defense, Mr Freeze, Silver Prospector, By My Standards, Bourbon Calling, Crafty Daddy, Title Ready, Multiplier, Aurelius Maximus, Plus Que Parfait, and Phantom Currency completed the order of finish.

This was the first career stakes win for Bodexpress, whose three prior victories had all occurred at his home base of Gulfstream Park West, the former Calder Race Course where live racing was scheduled to permanently cease after this weekend.

Still a maiden when second to Maximum Security in the 2019 Florida Derby (G1), Bodexpress was unplaced in both the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness, but came back to win a maiden and an allowance before re-entering stakes company. He subsequently placed in three of five stakes attempts, including the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) and Hal’s Hope (G3).

Second to Aurelius Maximus in an allowance on the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby card at Churchill, Bodexpress preceded this victory with an 11 1/4-length allowance romp. His record now stands at 17-4-4-3, $694,600.

Bred in Kentucky by Martha Jane Mulholland, Bodexpress is by Bodemeister and out of Pied a Terre, a City Zip half-sister to Grade 2 winner Stormy Lord.