By Rebecca Roush
Jockey Chase Clark celebrates his birthday today. He has had a long-time passion for the sport of horse racing and he doesn’t intend for that that to stop any time soon. The 25-year-old rider from Las Vegas grew up watching his father, Curt Clark, train horses. “I knew pretty much right away that I wanted to ride in races one day,” Clark recalled. The jockey would often go to races with his father and would “take everything in.”
In 2012 Clark began his professional racing career at Will Rogers Downs. Four years later the jockey won his first stakes race at Turf Paradise on Justified. It is this horse that Clark says is his favorite. Since then, Clark has gone on to win more stakes races and says that he hopes to one day race in and win the All American Futurity.
Since his start, Clark has had the chance to ride both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, but says he enjoys riding the Quarter Horses over anything. Clark has won 33 of his 359 career quarter horse mounts (and he has another 41 thoroughbred wins) and has earned $370,000 for his connections while riding the Qs.
Though Clark says he understands and knows the risk that goes along with the sport, he says the benefit often outweighs it. “This is something that I love,” Clark commented. “I consider racing to be more fun than a job,” he added. Clark says his favorite part about a race day, aside from winning, is simply “having the chance to come out here and watch the horses, that everyone is constantly working with, succeed.”
This is Clark’s second year racing at Canterbury Park. He says that it is one of his favorite tracks and that Canterbury provides “a really fun atmosphere for the horsemen and the fans.”
Clark has already seen much success at the track this year and qualified BHR Flashing Effort to the July 8 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, the richest quarter horse race of the meet with a $146,400 purse.
“I am lucky to have been given this opportunity,” Clark said. “I am very excited to see what happens next and I intend to work hard to get there.”