The 1 1/8-mile Stephen Foster is featured event on "Stephen Foster Super Saturday," which includes six stakes races with total purses of $1.75 million. The line-up of stakes events on the day also includes the $300,000-added Fleur De Lis Handicap (gr. II) for older fillies & mares; the $200,000-added Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on turf; the $200,000-added Regret (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies on turf; the $200,000-added Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-olds, and the $100,000-added Opening Verse for 3-year-olds and up on turf. The Stephen Foster Handicap and the Fleur De Lis will be televised live by ESPN as part of the season opening telecast of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's "Emirates Airlines Super Saturday." The season opener for the racing series will also include live coverage of the Californian (gr. II) from Hollywood Park and the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) from Belmont Park. The debut of the NTRA's "Emirates Airlines Super Saturday" that includes the Stephen Foster and Fleur De Lis Handicaps will be broadcast from 5-7 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN. Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, who defeated eventual Horse of the Year Mineshaft in the 2003 Stephen Foster and Lakeside Farm LLC's Colonial Colony whose 62-1 shocker in the 2004 running was the biggest upset in the history of the race.
Other grade I winners nominated to the Stephen Foster include Willmott Stable's Eddington, winner of the Pimlico Special (gr. I), and Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren's Saint Liam, winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park and last year's Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. Other nominees include include Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Badge of Silver, winner of the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II); Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm's Congrats, winner of the San Pasqual (gr. II) and the 2004 Alysheba at Churchill Downs; Charles Cella's multiple stakes winner Crafty Shaw; Buckram Oak Farm's Eurosilver, winner of the Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park; Dogwood Stable's Limehouse, whose victory in the Alysheba on Kentucky Derby Day was his third stakes victory at Churchill Downs; Edgewood Farm's Pollard's Vision, runner-up in the Pimlico Special and winner of the National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne; Barbara Cesare's Second of June, runner-up in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II); and Tracy Farmer's Sir Shackleton, winner of the Richter Scale Breeders' Cup (gr. II) and the 2003 Derby Trial (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.Topping the list of 25 nominees to the Fleur De Lis Handicap is Starlight Stables, Paul Saylor and Martin Johns' Ashado, winner of the 2004 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), and William S. Farish, Jr.'s Shadow Cast, winner of the Louisville Breeders' Cup (gr. II) on Kentucky Oaks Day. The list of nominees also includes Santa Margarita (gr. I) winner Tarlow, who is campaigned by the team that sent Giacomo into the winner's circle in the 131st Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The 4-year-old daughter of Stormin Fever is owned by Jerome and Ann Moss and trained by John Shirreffs.
Also nominated to the 1 1/8-mile Fleur De Lis are Jerry Crawford, Matt Gannon and Charlie Gresk's Halory Leigh, who swept the Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) and Falls City Handicap (gr. II) last fall at Churchill Downs; B. A. Man, Island Sand, who finished third to Ashado in the 2004 Kentucky Oaks and won the Acorn (gr. I); Wertheimer and Frere's Colony Band, winner of the Doubledogdare at Keeneland; Padua Stable's Anne Arundel (gr. III) winner Essence; K and K Racing Stable's Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup (gr. II) winner La Reason; Edmund Gann's Personal Legend, winner of Aqueduct's Turnback The Alarm (gr. III); and John D. Gunther and Don Winton's Two Trail Sioux winner of the Bayakoa at Oaklawn Park.