Trademark stamps first graded stakes win in thrilling Clark (G2)

Having come out on the losing side of a couple of tight photos in graded-stakes company earlier this season, BBN Racing’s Trademark (Upstart) was finally on the winning end of things Friday after dropping his nose down on the line just ahead of ‘TDN Rising Star’ First Mission (Street Sense) in the GII Clark S. at Churchill Downs. The consistent Il Miracolo (Gun Runner) was a distant third.

The 13-1 chance, drawn five in a field reduced to nine by the scratching of Happy American (Runhappy), Trademark broke cleanly and settled in an ideal spot from third, albeit a bit headstrong, as Film Star (Flatter) set the pace in the two path while First Mission held his spot at the fence while somewhat atypically disputing a moderate pace. The 6-5 chalk began to get the better of the battle up front rounding the second turn, but Fernando De La Cruz had a fistful of rein astride Trademark, just needing a way out as they hit the quarter pole. Accelerating sharply, Trademark zoomed past a weakening Giant Game (Giant’s Causeway) to his outside and hooked up with First Mission passing the eighth pole. The latter drifted outward as heads were up and down with time ticking away, and it was Trademark who was home by the slimmest margin.

“I thought at the sixteenth pole I had a big shot at winning,” said De La Cruz, winning his second graded event of 2023 (Get Smokin, GII Kentucky Turf Cup). “He relaxed early and I saved ground, just waiting for the right opportunity to get him outside. He’s always been a very nice horse. I’ve been on him a couple of times and knew he was pretty tactical in his races. He showed a big turn of foot in the stretch and fought all the way to the wire.”



Trademark entered the Clark as something of a horse for the course, having made the rained-off Commonwealth Turf S. his first black-type score just short of a year ago. A sound third at longshot odds in the GIII Salvator Mile S. at Monmouth June 17, the bay won the July 8 Michael Schaefer Memorial S. at Horsehoe Indianapolis before falling a half-length shy in the GIII Philip H. Iselin S. back at the Jersey Shore Aug. 19. Tagged on the money in this track’s GII Lukas Classic Sept. 30, Trademark beat just one home in the GII Fayette S. at Keeneland Oct. 28.

Pedigree Notes:

With his first three dams by Creative Cause, Mazel Trick and Northjet–hardly household names, but horses the late Brereton C. Jones was happy to take a chance on as stallions–Trademark is a living tribute to the former Kentucky governor’s breeding operation at Airdrie Stud.

Out of an unraced half-sister to MGISW Include Me Out (Include), GISW Check The Label (Stormin Fever) and On the Menu (Canadian Frontier), Trademark descends from Lucy Sims, a homebred daughter of Northjet, who was imported by Jones to stand at Airdrie in the 1980s after winning the G1 Prix du Moulin and G1 Prix Jacques le Marois in France. Lucy Sims would go on to produce six winners from 12 to the races, including MSW & MGSP Tiffany Diamond (Tiffany Ice).

But it was Lucy Sims’s other daughters that had the more lasting influence on the family, as Kittery Point (Include) produced GI La Brea S. winner Sam’s Sister (Brother Derek) and SW Sensitive (Divine Park), while Another Vegetarian (Stalwart)–a winner of $4,200 at the races–became the dam of GI QE II Challenge Cup winner Sweet Talker (Stormin Fever) and MGSW Silver Medallion (Badge of Silver). Lucy Sims’s daughter Haddie (You and I) counted MSW Haddie Be Good (Silver Deputy) and Panamanian stakes-placed Sixpack of Kings (Belong to Me) among her five winners.

Trademark’s 2-year-old full-sister There She Goes was unplaced on Hawthorne debut over the summer and his half-sister by newer Airdrie sire Complexity was hammered down to Meridian International for $140,000 at this year’s Keeneland September sale. The mare foaled a Beau Liam colt Mar. 8 and was bred back to Upstart, who is now the sire of five graded stakes winners. Trademark is bred on the same cross at Grade I winner and new Spendthrift stallion Zandon.


Friday, Churchill Downs
CLARK S. PRESENTED BY NORTON HEALTHCARE-GII, $599,500, Churchill Downs, 11-24, 3yo/up, 1 1/8m, 1:49.95, ft.
1–TRADEMARK, 121, g, 4, by Upstart
                1st Dam: Creative Trick, by Creative Cause
                2nd Dam: Don’t Trick Her, by Mazel Trick
                3rd Dam: Lucy Sims, by Northjet (Ire)
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($37,000 Wlg ’19 KEENOV; $42,000 Ylg ’20 KEESEP; $275,000 RNA 3yo ’22 KEENOV). O-BBN Racing, LLC; B-Brereton C. Jones (KY); T-Victoria H. Oliver; J-Fernando De La Cruz. $357,600. Lifetime Record: 22-6-3-1, $1,055,865. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree or free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–First Mission, 118, c, 3, Street Sense–Elude, by Medaglia d’Oro. ‘TDN Rising Star.’ O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brad H. Cox. $116,000.
3–Il Miracolo, 120, c, 3, Gun RunnerTapit‘s World, by Tapit. ($75,000 Ylg ’21 KEEJAN; $190,000 RNA Ylg ’21 FTKOCT; $70,000 2yo ’22 OBSOPN). O-Alexandres, LLC; B-Willow Oaks Stable LLC (KY); T-Antonio Sano. $58,000.
Margins: NO, 5HF, 1. Odds: 13.10, 1.22, 6.57.
Also Ran: Blue Devil, Gasoline, Film Star, Straight Arrow, Giant Game, Stage Raider. Scratched: Happy American.