Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein, runner-up to Curlin in last year’s Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), topped a list of 20 nominees for this year’s renewal, which will be run June 13 at Churchill Downs.
Weights for the $600,000 Stephen Foster, to be run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track, will be announced June 6.
Einstein will be seeking to join Lava Man as the only horse to win grade I races on dirt, grass and synthetic surfaces. Unlike Lava Man, Einstein will attempt to create his own triple in consecutive races.
Trained by Helen Pitts-Blasi, Einstein won the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface on March 7 and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs on May 2 in his two most recent starts.
Einstein is one six horses considered as probable for the Stephen Foster. Other probables include Arson Squad, winner of last fall’s Meadowlands Cup (gr. II), Bullsbay, winner of the May 1 Alysheba (gr. III) at Churchill, 2009 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) winner Macho Again, Charles Town Classic winner Researcher, multi-South Florida graded stakes winner Finallymadeit and Dubious Miss. Considered as possible is $3 million earner Asiatic Boy, who has not run since he finished 12th to Well Armed in the $6 million Dubai World Cup UAE-I) on March 28.
In other news from Louisville, Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) winner General Quarters, who ran 10th in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and ninth in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), will be out until late fall after having a small chip removed from his right front knee.
“He is doing well,” owner-trainer Tom McCarthy said. “I’d like to have him ready for the Clark Handicap if possible. After the Derby we noticed a little filling, but there was no heat or discomfort. It was not a major thing. After the Preakness, I took him to Rood & Riddle in Lexington and had it x-rayed. There was not much there but we went ahead and took it out.”
McCarthy has an idea of when the injury may have occurred in the Derby.
“We went back and looked at pictures of the race, and there was one in which he had three feet up and the right front was on the ground,” McCarthy said. “He got bumped at that time and he might have twisted it then.”