It's been a rough week for trainer Bobby Frankel. On Monday his 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper was retired due to injury, but things could improve dramatically by the weekend when he sends out Saint Liam and Badge of Silver in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
The Stephen Foster will mark the first start for Saint Liam since he finished a disappointing sixth in the March 5 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I). He began the year with an impressive 3 3/4-length win in the Feb. 5 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, where he set a new track record (1:48.43) for nine furlongs.
Saint Liam was previously trained by Richard Dutrow but was transferred by owners Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren to Frankel after Dutrow was hit with a 60-day suspension in New York for medication violations.
The son of Saint Ballado worked four furlongs in :47.45 June 14 at Aqueduct, the fastest of four at that distance.
Jockey Edgar Prado gets the mount aboard Saint Liam. The pair will break from post three carrying a top weight of 121 pounds.
Badge of Silver, owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, began the year by winning the Jan. 8 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III), where he set a new track record (1:48.57) for nine furlongs. He also won the March 12 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II).
Most recently he finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Pollard's Vision in the April 23 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course.
Frankel entered but scratched Badge of Silver from the May 20 Pimlico Special (gr. I) due to sloppy track conditions.
The 5-year-old son of Silver Deputy
worked six furlongs in 1:14.26 June 11 at Belmont Park.
Jockey Jerry Bailey gets the call aboard Badge of Silver, breaking from post four carrying 119 pounds.
Not to be overlooked in the field of eight handicap horses is 2003 Stephen Foster winner Perfect Drift. The 6-year-old gelding will be making his first appearance on the main track this year when he breaks from post seven under jockey Gary Stevens.
Trained by Murray Johnson, the son of Dynaformer
finished a disappointing ninth after a rough trip in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) undercard May 7. He began the season with a three-length win in a mile turf allowance contest April 21 at Keeneland.
Last year Perfect Drift finished third in the Stephen Foster behind upset winner Colonial Colony, who will attempt to defend his title Saturday, and Southern Image, who is preparing for a summer comeback on the West Coast.
The field for Saturday's $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) includes:
1-- Gouldings Green (Mike Smith, 112)
2-- M B Sea (Pat Day, 113)
3-- Saint Liam (Edgar Prado, 121)
4-- Badge of Silver (Jerry Bailey, 119)
5-- Presidentialaffair (Todd Glasser, 115)
6-- Colonial Colony (Robby Albarado, 114)
7-- Perfect Drift (Gary Stevens, 117)
8-- Eurosilver (Rafael Bejarano, 113)