PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Making his dirt debut, and running in a grade I event for only the second time, Pool Play won the Stephen Foster to become a player in the older male division.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Proven on dirt after his 36-1 upset in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 18, synthetic track specialist Pool Play is aiming for similarly lucrative spots on his unaccustomed surface, trainer Mark Casse said.
Favorites, upsets, Arabians, and more defined Stephen Foster Day 2011. View Slideshow
William S. Farish Jr.'s Pool Play, making his first start on dirt in his 28th career start, pulled a 36-1 shocker in the $561,300 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 18 at Churchill Downs.
Jason, Tom and Steve from TwinSpires.com handicap the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. Watch Video
Eleven are scheduled to compete in the grade I Stephen Foster. Can you predict the order of finish? Predict the Order
Nearly six months into the season, the handicap division is still looking for a clear-cut leader. With a breakout performance in the Stephen Foster Handicap June 18, there is an opportunity for someone to assume that role.
Night racing, disco, Rachel Alexandra, and Blame highlight Stephen Foster weekend. View Slideshow
Jason, Evan, and Les Instone of twinspires.com preview the Stephen Foster (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on June 12. Watch Video
Blame will have no easy task against a proven field of 11 in the 1 1/8-mile Foster. His main challengers include last year's winner Macho Again, Arson Squad, General Quarters, as well as another emerging star, Battle Plan.
With the connections of Rachel Alexandra undecided on which of four stakes in which she will run June 12, eight horses are probable and three are possible for the 29th running of the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap.
Reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to make her next start June 12, with four different races, including the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) against males, under consideration.
When the popular Downs After Dark nighttime racing program returns to Churchill Downs Friday, June 11, there will be a new twist.
Jason, Tom, and the Wizard analyze the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), June 13 at Churchill Downs. Watch Video
Einstein, a leading candidate for 2009 Horse of the Year midway through the season, will try to make history by becoming the first horse to win grade I events on dirt, turf and synthetics in the same year in the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 13 at Churchill Downs.
Gainesway Thoroughbreds' Ocean Colors, a 2-year-old Orientate filly out of 1988 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Winning Colors, made her racing debut one to remember June 13 at Churchill Downs by scoring a front-running 5 1/4-length victory in the fourth race
Churchill Downs will supplement the purse for the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) to $1 million if at least one grade I winner starts in the race.
Stonestreet Stable and Midnight Cry Stable's Curlin dazzled onlookers with a strong work at Churchill Downs June 2 as the reigning Horse of the Year tuned up for planned run in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 14.
Following his win with Rags to Riches in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), trainer Todd Pletcher has reloaded and sends out two horses, Master Command and Magna Graduate, who have big shots to take down Saturday's $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
A leg injury has taken Midnight Cry Stable's Einstein out of consideration for Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Immediately following the June 16 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville will host a happy hour with local "celebrity" bartenders. The event will support the Backside Learning Center and the Race for Education. Presented by the Equine Wellness Foundation to benefit horsemen's education, special guests will serve their favorite drinks.
The Equine Wellness Foundation will present a post-race "Happy Hour" following the June 16 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) in support of the Klein Family Learning Center and The Race for Education, the Kentucky Derby Museum announced June 7.
Fred Bradley's Brass Hat, winner of this year's Donn Handicap (gr. I) and New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), suffered an ankle injury in a Thursday workout that will sideline the 5-year-old gelding for an extended period of time and could end his career.
The morning after Seek Gold's stunning upset in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) was, in the words of trainer Ron Moquett, "surreal."
Last at the top of the stretch, Seek Gold closed from out of the clouds to steal the $844,500 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) from Perfect Drift at the wire at odds of 91-1 at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Buzzards Bay, authoritative winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) in his last start more than two months ago, takes on grade I winners Brass Hat and Perfect Drift in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Aaron and Marie Jones' Master Command, winner of the William Donald Schaefer Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico most recently, will pass on an expected run in Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Brass Hat, winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and runner-up in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), and Buzzards Bay, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), were assigned high weight of 121 pounds apiece for Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
The Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) lost a major contender when trainer Todd Pletcher said that Elisabeth Alexander's Magna Graduate would miss the June 17 race after suffering an injury during a Sunday workout at Churchill Downs.
Jay Em Ess Stable's Suave, a disappointment at Gulfstream Park's winter meeting, is back in training for trainer Paul McGee at Churchill Downs.
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.
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, the 8-5 morning line favorite for Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), was reacquainted with Churchill Downs' one-mile racing oval during a Friday morning gallop.
It's been a rough week for trainer Bobby Frankel. On Monday his 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper was retired due to injury, but things could improve dramatically by the weekend when he sends out Saint Liam and Badge of Silver in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
Barbara Cesare's Second of June, runner-up in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), has been knocked out of Saturday's Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs an ailment in the colt's left hind ankle.
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.
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, 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.
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," 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 130th Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) highlight a 2004 stakes schedule at Churchill Downs that includes five new races and record total stakes purses that will soar beyond the $9 million mark for the first time.
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.
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.
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.
Grade I winners Aldebaran and Mineshaft expected to headline Saturday's contest at Churchill Downs, while Pat Day now has the mount on Perfect Drift.
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.
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