Churchill's Foster Card Loaded With Stakes

(from Churchill Downs report)
While some of racing's leading national stars compete in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) and the $400,000-added Fleur de Lis (gr. II), there are four other stakes races on the "Stephen Foster Super Saturday" program that have attracted strong lineups of their own.

JEFFERSON CUP (gr. IIIT) -- Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Kitten's Joy, unbeaten in five races on the turf, is the 9-5 morning line favorite in a field of 10 3-year-olds in this 1 1/8-mile turf test.

Jerry Bailey will ride the winner of the Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT). His rivals include Prince Arch and Capo, the 2-3 finishers in the Crown Royal American Turf, and Terroplane, who invades from California for trainer Neil Drysdale.

$200,000 Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT, 3:12 p.m. ET), 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Jockey, Wgt., ML Odds
1. Radiant Cat (KY), Mark Guidry, 116, 20/1
2. Mighty Military (KY), John McKee, 116, 15/1
3. Lods (KY), Jesus Lopez Castanon, 116, 15/1
4. Prince Arch (KY), Brice Blanc, 120, 9/2
5. Cool Conductor (KY), Cornelio H. Velasquez, 116, 8/1
6. Terroplane (FR), Victor Espinoza, 118, 2/1
7. Bogangles (KY), Robby Albarado, 116, 30/1
8. Capo (KY), Pat Day, 116, 10/1
9. Kitten's Joy (KY), Jerry D. Bailey, 122, 9/5
10. More Bourb (KY), Rene R. Douglas, 118, 20/1

REGRET (gr. IIIT) -- Dr. John A. Chandler's Western Ransom, a daughter of Red Ransom trained by Michael Dickinson, is the 8-5 morning line favorite in this 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies. Pat Day will ride the favorite, who won the Hilltop at Pimlico last time out.

Other contenders include Edgewood runner-up Gingham and Lace (5-2), Silverbulletday (gr. II) winner Shadow Cast (9-2), and Regret Prep winner Jinny's Gold (5-1).

$200,000 Regret (gr. IIIT, 4:13 p.m. ET), 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/8 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Jockey, Wgt. ML Odds
1. Western Ransom (KY), Pat Day, 120, 8/5
2. Pretty Jane (KY), Cornelio H. Velasquez, 116, 30/1
3. Jinny's Gold (KY), Mark Guidry, 118, 5/1
4. Sister Star (KY), Brice Blanc, 116, 8/1
5. Shadow Cast (KY), Robby Albarado, 118, 9/2
6. Avaricity (KY), John McKee, 114, 50/1
7. Baxter Hall (KY), Brian Dale Peck, 116, 10/1
8. Gingham and Lace (VA), Jerry D. Bailey, 116, 5/2

NORTHERN DANCER (gr. III) -- The purse has been doubled to $200,000-added, the distance increased to 1 1/16 miles, and a a dozen 3-year-olds were attracted to the race, which has gained grade III status in only its third running.

Northern Spur winner Two Down Automatic, trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Robby Albarado, is the 4-1 morning line choice in the wide-open field.

J Town, ridden by Pat Day for trainer Ken McPeek, stands at 9-2 after an impressive allowance victory at Churchill Downs. Three contenders -- Ecclesiastic, Suave, and Shaniko -- are all listed at 6-1.

$200,000 Northern Dancer (gr. III, 3:43 p.m. ET), 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 mile
PP. Horse, Jockey, Wgt., ML Odds
1. Texas Deputy (TX), Larry Melancon, 114, 20/1
2. Gran Prospect (KY), Craig Perret, 114, 20/1
3. Shaniko (KY), Victor Espinoza, 114, 6/1
4. Suave (KY), Rafael Bejarano, 114, 6/1
5. Grande's Grandslam (KY), Brice Blanc, 114, 8/1
6. Ecclesiastic (KY), 114, 6/1
7. Chippewa Trail (KY), Brian Dale Peck, 114, 30/1
8. Courageous Act (KY), Cornelio H. Velasquez, 114, 8/1
9. Two Down Automatic (KY), Robby Albarado, 114, 4/1
10. J Town (FL), Pat Day, 114, 9/2
11. Ascertain (IRE), Mark Guidry, 116, 15/1
12. Indian War Dance (KY), John McKee, 114, 10/1

OPENING VERSE -- Team Victory I's Brazilian import Hard Buck established his credentials as one of the top turf stars in the world with a runner-up finish in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) at Nad al Sheba on Dubai World Cup Day.

The Ken McPeek-trained son of 1985 Kentucky Derby winner Spend A Buck will make his first start since that 1 1/2-mile race when he faces seven rivals in the first running of the $100,000-added Opening Verse Handicap at 1 1/16-miles on the grass.

"He's strong right now, he looks super and the last time I checked you buy 'em to run 'em," said McPeek. "He's just a lovely horse and I think he'll be pretty tough in this spot."

Brice Blanc will ride the 5-2 morning line second choice against such foes as grade II winner Mystery Giver and Senor Swinger, the 2-1 morning line favorite who is unbeaten in three races over the Matt Winn Turf Course. Senor Swinger finished fifth in the Argent Dixie in his most recent start at Pimlico Race Course May 15.

$100,000 Opening Verse Handicap (5:44 p.m. ET), 3 & up, 1 1/16 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Jockey, Wgt., ML Odds
1. Gretchen's Star (KY), Calvin H. Borel, 114, 6/1
2. Majestic Thief (KY), Cornelio H. Velasquez, 115, 5/1
3. Hard Buck (BRZ), Brice Blanc, 123, 5/2
4. Classic Par (KY), Robby Albarado, 114, 15/1
5. Major Rhythm (KY), Earlie Fires, 114, 20/1
6. Restage (FL), Jesus Lopez Castanon, 115, 15/1
7. Everything to Gain (KY), Mark Guidry, 116, 4/1
8. Senor Swinger (KY), Pat Day, 117, 2/1

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