Stephen Foster Handicap

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Churchill to Offer Purse Money to All Stakes Entrants

In an effort to boost participation in its stakes races, Churchill Downs announced Jan. 17 it would pay purse money to each participating horse in those contests--excluding the $2-million Kentucky Derby (gr. I)--beginning at the track's April 29-July 16 spring meet.

Subbing Frankel Wins Foster With Saint Liam

Trainer Bobby Frankel couldn't have drawn up the running of Saturday's $828,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) any better for Saint Liam in his first start for the Hall of Fame conditioner. Saint Liam shook off pacesetter Presidentialaffair coming off the far turn and romped to a 2 3/4-length victory.

Saint Liam Assigned 121 for Stephen Foster

Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren's Saint Liam, winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and Clark Handicap (gr. II), has been assigned high weight of 121 pounds for next Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

Foster Upsetter Fine, Trainer Needs Break

Lakeside Farm's Colonial Colony was reported to be doing well on the day after he shook the racing world with his stunning upset of favored Southern Image and an elite field in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 12 at Churchill Downs, but his trainer is worn out.

Colonial Colony Nips 'Image in Foster Shocker

Colonial Colony, the longest shot in the field at odds of 62-1 with 12 losses in a row, prevailed in a thrilling stretch drive with favored Southern Image to capture the $810,750 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) by a nose Saturday at Churchill Downs on a sloppy track.

Perfect Drift Defends Stephen Foster Title

Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, an upset winner over eventual Horse of the Year Mineshaft in last year's running of the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), will face some of the toughest handicap rivals in American racing when he bids for a second consecutive victory in Saturday's $750,000-added event at Churchill Downs.

"NTRA Super Saturday" Makes TV Debut

"NTRA Super Saturday," five shows of horse racing coverage airing on ABC and ESPN, will make its debut Saturday on ESPN with a two-hour telecast (4:00-6:00 p.m. ET) featuring five graded stakes from four different race tracks with reporters stationed at each venue.

Stephen Foster or Brooklyn for Midway Road?

A decision is expected June 8 on whether William S. Farish's Midway Road will run in the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), the main event on Churchill Downs' $1.85-million "Stephen Foster Super Saturday" scheduled for June 12, or in the $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park the same afternoon.

Work Puts Perfect Drift On Edge for Foster

A strong five-furlong work on Saturday by Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift has trainer Murray Johnson looking forward to the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 12, his gelding's bid for a second consecutive victory in Churchill Downs' premier race for older horses.

Perfect Drift, Southern Image Top Foster Noms

Defending winner Perfect Drift, 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Funny Cide, Pimlico Special (gr. I) victor Southern Image, and Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) hero Peace Rules head a stellar group of 21 horses nominated to the 23rd running of Churchill Downs' $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) on June 12.

Mass Cap Moved to June 19

Suffolk Downs has moved the running of the $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap (gr. II) to June 19. The Mass Cap, which is returning from a one-year hiatus, was originally scheduled to be run on May 29.

Aldebaran Returns in Tom Fool on Home Turf

Aldebaran, who finished third in the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, will shorten up from that race's nine-furlong distance when he competes in Friday's seven-furlong Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont.

Perfect Drift Deserves World Stage, Johnson Says

Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, who edged heavily favored Mineshaft in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), will get a little time to relax after the biggest win of his career. After that, the sky's the limit, says trainer Murray Johnson.

Get My Drift

Turns out Perfect Drift was carrying just a tad more than his assigned 115 pounds at Churchill Downs June 14 in the $856,500 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I). Tucked under the saddlecloth beneath Pat Day was a six-inch braid of hair made from John Henry's tail.

Mineshaft Tunes Up for Stephen Foster

Expected Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) favorite Mineshaft turned in a spectacular work Tuesday, breezing five furlongs in :59.60 over a fast Churchill Downs track. The move under exercise rider Annie Finney came just after the regular break for track maintenance and was the fastest of 31 at that distance.

Perfect Drift Works, Looks Ready for Foster

Perfect Drift, the third place finisher in the 2002 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), breezed an easy half-mile Saturday at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville training center and trainer Murray Johnson said the Dynaformer gelding appears ready for a likely run in next Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).

Mineshaft, Aldebaran Top Foster Nominees

William S. Farish's homebred Mineshaft, winner of the Pimlico Special (gr. I), and Flaxman Holdings' Aldebaran, winner of the Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II) and Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) in his last two races, top the list of likely starters from a star-studded group of 32 horses nominated for Churchill Downs' $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).

Mineshaft Drills Toward Stephen Foster

Mineshaft, the likely favorite for the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) on June 14, worked a strong six furlongs over a wet track Tuesday at Churchill Downs. The homebred son of A.P. Indy covered the distance over "sloppy" footing in 1:14 under exercise rider Annie Finney.

Manhattan, Foster Weighed for Colonial Colony

Churchill Downs-based trainer Walter Bindner will decide in the next couple of days whether to ship Lakeside Farm's rapidly-improving Colonial Colony to New York for Saturday's Manhattan (gr. IT) at Belmont or stay home for the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 14.

Stephen Foster Field Taking Shape

As Saturday's deadline for nominations to the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) draws closer, the possible field for the $750,000 race is becoming clearer. Among the horses who could start next in the June 14 race are Aldebaran, Full Mandate, Proud Citizen, and Tenpins.

Mineshaft Works Toward Stephen Foster

William S. Farish's Mineshaft, an impressive winner of the Pimlico Special (gr. I) in his most recent start, breezed four furlongs at Churchill Downs on Tuesday as trainer Neil Howard prepares the colt for a run in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) on June 14.

Congaree, Street Cry Face off in Foster

A mid-year clash of top-level handicap runners is in store Saturday at Churchill Downs as Congaree, third-place finisher in last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I) faces off against Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Street Cry in the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

Dollar Bill Sharp in Churchill Work

Mary and Gary West's Dollar Bill breezed six furlongs at Churchill Downs Sunday ahead of Saturday's $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I). The Dallas Stewart trainee completed the work in 1:13 4/5 under exercise rider Joanne McNamara.

Unshaded Works in Blinkers for Stephen Foster; Duckhorn Out

James Tafel's Unshaded put in his second consecutive work wearing blinkers Thursday at Churchill Downs as the Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner prepares for the June 15 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Another likely Foster entrant, Hawthorne Gold Cup winner Hail The Chief, had his scheduled work pushed back due to the weather and Ben Ali winner Duckhorn is no longer under consideration for the 1 1/8-mile, $750,000 race.

Committee Approves Net Gain of Eight Graded Races For 2002

After a two-day meeting in Lexington, Ky., the American Graded Stakes Committee on Thursday released the list of stakes races that will have graded status in 2002. As a result of the committee's review, which uses a five-year formula to assess races and assign graded status, there is a net gain of eight graded races in 2002, bringing to 486 the number of races assigned graded status from the 751 eligible races.

Churchill Puts Three Stakes Worth $1.2 Million on One Card

There is no change in Churchill Downs' stakes schedule in the total number of stakes events and purses, but a significant change in the scheduling of several spring meet events next year will create an important day of stakes races with total purses of $1.2 million on Saturday, June 16. The day will be headlined by the $750,000- added Stephen Foster Handicap

Churchill Puts Three Stakes Worth $1.2 Million on One Card

There is no change in Churchill Downs' stakes schedule in the total number of stakes events and purses, but a significant change in the scheduling of several spring meet events next year will create an important day of stakes races with total purses of $1.2 million on Saturday, June 16. The day will be headlined by the $750,000- added Stephen Foster Handicap

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