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Clark Celebrates Career Milestone

Published: October 25, 2014 7:47 pm ET

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Hall of Fame horseman Keith Clark celebrated his 4,000th training win in style on Saturday afternoon with his streaking two-year-old First Class Horse prevailing in the Premiers Stakes at Alberta Downs.

In the first $22,500 division of the Premiers Colt Stakes, Clark sent First Class Horse from third to first after a quick :27.4 opening quarter and reached the half in :57.3. The 1-9 favourite then opened up five lengths en route to three-quarters in 1:25.1 and extended his leading margin to nearly six lengths before hitting the wire in 1:54.2. First Class Horse paid $2.10 to win. Cool Cowboy and Jim Marino finished second while Pablos First and J.F. Gagne rounded out the top three finishers 11 lengths behind.

Clark shares ownership of the Western Terror-Susurrus Hanover colt, who now has six (consecutive) wins in seven career starts, with Robert Jones of Slave Lake, Alta. and Doris McDougall of Cochrane, Alta.

Clark, 61, has trained winners of more than $25.8 million lifetime. The De Winton, Alta. horseman has also won 6,330 races and earned over $32.9 million in his driving career. Recognized as one of Alberta's greatest horsemen, Clark won the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship in 2004 and 2011 and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2009.

A couple races later, Clark began the quest towards his next milestone, winning with pacing mare Skade ($5.70) in 1:54.2 by a neck over Mach Away and Travis Cullen. He claimed the four-year-old daughter of Dragon Again for $12,000 in early August with Doris McDougall of Cochrane, Alta. and Calgary's Verne Rea.

Urcutoff ($2.10) and Brandon Campbell edged out Clark's Withflyingcolours to win the other Premiers Colt Stakes division in 1:56.2 for trainer Darryl Cutting and owner Mark Anderson. Meanwhile, the filly divisions were won by True Rock ($7.30) and Marino in 1:58.3 for trainer Kelly Hoerdt and his partners Blair and Erna Corbeil, and My Villas On Fire ($5.60) in a career-best equalling 1:56.4 with trainer Jamie Gray aboard for owners Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Alberta Downs.

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