(From Churchill Downs)
Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein was assigned top weight of 124 pounds for the $600,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 13 at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Helen Pitts-Blasi, Einstein ran second in last year’s Stephen Foster behind Horse of the Year Curlin. The 7-year-old son of 1985 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Spend A Buck is scheduled to work a half-mile June 7. A winner of 11 of 25 races with earnings of $2,609,904, Einstein will be shooting for a third consecutive grade I victory and his first win at that level on traditional dirt.
A win in the Stephen Foster would allow Einstein to join Lava Man as the only horses to win grade I races on dirt, grass and synthetic courses. The two-time winner of Churchill Downs’ Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) on turf and the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) on the synthetic Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita, Einstein won the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) last fall on the man track at Churchill Downs.
The next high weight was assigned to Asiatic Boy with 122 pounds.The 6-year-old is coming off a 12th-place finish to Well Armed in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) and the Foster will mark both his U.S. bow and debut for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Previously trained by South African Mike de Kock, he has a record of 7-3-2 in 15 races and earnings of $3,068.090. He was second to Curlin in last year’s Dubai World Cup and won the $2 million UAE Derby as a 4-year-old in 2007.
Other probable starters and their weight assignments include 2008 Meadowlands Cup (gr. III) winner Arson Squad (118); Finallymadeit, winner of Calder’s Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III) and Gulfstream Park’s Skip Away (gr. III) (118); Researcher (118), winner of the Queens County (gr. III) at Aqueduct and the recent $500,000 Charles Town Classic; Alysheba (gr. III) winner Bullsbay (117), and Macho Again (117), runner-up to Big Brown in the 2008 Preakness (gr. I) and winner of the 2009 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II).