(Caddo River / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From Churchill Downs Media Team:

It was likely the final day of training for all of the participants in Saturday’s $750,000 Stephen Foster (Grade II). All seven contenders took to the Churchill Downs track to gallop Friday morning.

          Juddmonte’s Mandaloun, the 2-1 morning line Foster favorite, had a strong 1 ½-mile gallop around 7 a.m. The 2021 Kentucky Derby (GI) winner was ridden by regular exercise rider Edvin Vargas. As the Into Mischief colt galloped past the wire, Vargas had his hands full as Mandaloun appeared to want to chase a fellow galloper about 10 lengths in front of him.

          “We couldn’t be more pleased with his training into this race,” trainer Brad Cox said. “He’s really done well in his lead up to the Foster at home here at Churchill. He’s worked several times after the Saudi Cup and I think he’ll be on a much preferred surface Saturday.”

          Cox also trained Shortleaf Stable’s five-time winner Caddo River in the same set at Mandaloun. Caddo River galloped 1 ½ miles and was installed as the second longest priced horse in the 1 1/8-mile race at odds of 10-1.

          Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable, and LNJ Foxwoods’ multiple Grade II winner Olympiad was on the track early Friday. The son of Speightstown has trained for three days over the surface under the watchful eye of trainer Bill Mott’s longtime assistant Kenny McCarthy. Mott has won 751 races at Churchill Downs and one of them was the Stephen Foster when Ron the Greek scored a 9-1 upset victory over eventual Hall of Famer Wise Dan in the 2012 edition.

          Godolphin’s multiple graded stakes-placed colt Proxy schooled in the Churchill Downs paddock Thursday and has been galloping over the main track for the past several days. Trainer Mike Stidham’s chief assistant T.C. Stuckey has been stationed at Churchill Downs with the 4-year-old colt for about a week. Proxy finished second to Dynamic One in last month’s $200,000 Blame Stakes.

          It’s been 35 years since Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas won the Stephen Foster with Red Attack. He hopes his new trainee Last Samurai can break that streak. Owned by Willis Horton, Last Samurai made the short walk from trainer Dallas Stewart’s Barn 38 to Lukas’ Barn 44 a few weeks ago. Stewart previously campaigned Last Samurai to a 12-1 upset win in the $1 million Oaklawn Handicap (GII). He’ll be ridden in the Stephen Foster by 62-year-old jockey Jon Court.

          “Anytime you have live mounts it’s a little easier to get going,” Court said. “I always try to keep myself both physically and mentally prepared to compete with some of the younger riders in the room.”

          Court has never won the Stephen Foster.

          Saturday’s Stephen Foster Day at Churchill Downs will get underway at 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern) and feature the Stephen Foster along with a quartet of supporting stakes: the $350,000 Fleur de Lis (GII), $200,000 American Derby (Listed), $200,000 Tepin and $160,000 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes. Post time for the Stephen Foster is 5:47 p.m.

Here are the full fields for each of five stakes events from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds):

  • $750,000 Stephen Foster (Race 10, 5:47 p.m.): Caddo River (Ricardo Santana Jr., Brad Cox, 10-1); American Revolution (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher, 7-2); Olympiad (Junior Alvarado, Bill Mott, 5-2); Title Ready (Brian Hernandez Jr., Dallas Stewart, 15-1); Proxy (Joel Rosario, Mike Stidham, 9-2); Mandaloun (Florent Geroux, Cox, 2-1); and Last Samurai (Jon Court, Wayne Lukas, 8-1)
  • $350,000 Fleur de Lis (GII) (Race 8, 4:35 p.m.): Super Quick (Joe Talamo, Norm Casse, 2-1); She’s All Wolfe (Francisco Arrieta, Donnie K Von Hemel, 5-1); Ava’s Grace (David Cohen, Robertino Diodoro, 6-1); Pauline’s Pearl (Joel Rosario, Steve Asmussen, 5-2); and Shedaresthedevil (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 9-5)
  • $200,000 American Derby (Listed) (Race 7, 3:55 p.m.): Fowler Blue (Sonny Leon, Doug O’Neill, 15-1); Jr’s Gift (Tiago Canuto, Hugo Andrande, 30-1); Search Engine (Edgar Morales, Tom Amoss, 12-1); Kitodan (Gerardo Corrales, Eric Foster, 12-1); McLaren Vale (Luis Saez, Rodolphe Brisset, 4-1); Double Clutch (Corey Lanerie, Rusty Arnold, 6-1); Red Run (Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen, 5-1); Kuchar (Florent Geroux, Brisset, 5-1); Rattle N Roll (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek, 3-1); War Campaign (Colby Hernandez, Phil Sims, 15-1); and O P Firecracker (Ricardo Santana Jr., Robert Medina, 10-1).
  • $200,000 Tepin (Listed) (Race 6, 3:23 p.m.): Hearty Constitution (Luis Saez, Joe Sharp, 7-2); Patna(Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 3-1); Verylittlecents (Jon Court, Randy Morse, 8-1); Wicked Halo (Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen, 9-5); Zawish (Edgar Morales, Helen Pitts-Blasi, 10-1); Runaway Wife(Julien Leparoux, Kenny McPeek, 6-1); and Sandsone (Brian Hernandez Jr., Wayne Catalano, 8-1).
  • $160,000 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes (Race 9, 5:16 p.m.): Awesome Gerry (Gerardo Corrales, Saffie Joseph Jr., 8-1); Heart Rhythm (Giovani Franco, Trisha Duncan, 15-1); Kneedeepinsnow(Ricardo Santana Jr., Matt Shirer, 8-1); Aloha West (Joel Rosario, Wayne Catalano, 2-1); Bango (Tyler Gaffalione, Greg Foley, 5-2); Bob’s Edge (Gabriel Saez, Larry Jones, 6-1); Startdfromdabottom (Rafael Bejarano, John Ennis, 30-1); A C Expressway (Florent Geroux, Norm Casse, 12-1); and Miles Ahead(Joe Talamo, Paul McGee, 6-1).

          The 1 1/8-mile Stephen Foster is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event toward the $6 million Classic held at Keeneland on Saturday, Nov. 5. The winner of the Stephen Foster will receive their entry fees paid to the Classic along with a travel stipend if they are located outside the state of Kentucky.

          The Stephen Foster will be televised on NBC from 4-6 p.m. The two-hour broadcast also will feature the $160,000 Kelly’s Landing and $350,000 Fleur de Lis (GII) in Races 8-9, respectively.

          Wagering is available on www.TwinSpires.com, the official ADW of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby.

SUNDAY, MONDAY TO CLOSE SPRING MEET WITH QUINTET OF STAKES EVENTS – Sunday and Monday’s cards at Churchill Downs will close the Spring Meet and feature a combined quintet of stakes events led by graded stakes winners Cody’s Wish and Plainsman in Monday’s $175,000 Hanshin presented by the JRA.

          Here are the complete fields from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds) for all five stakes events Sunday-Monday.

Sunday:

  • $160,000 Anchorage Overnight Stakes (Race 3, 1:43 p.m.): The Mary Rose (Tyler Gaffalione, John Ortiz, 9-5); Li’l Tootsie (Edgar Morales, Tom Amoss, 2-1); Will’s Secret (Jon Court, Wayne Lukas, 5-2); Roc’s Princess (Rey Gutierrez, Billy Gowan, 15-1); and Sylvia Q (Chris Landeros, Phil Bauer, 7-2)
  • $160,000 Maxfield Overnight Stakes (Race 8, 4:22 p.m.): Tejano Twist (Mitchell Murrill, Chris Hartman, 8-1); My Prankster (Rafael Bejarano, Todd Pletcher, 8-5); Gunite (Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen, 1-1); Overtaxed (Florent Geroux, Ron Moquett, 12-1); Burninhunkoflove (Colby Hernandez, Al Stall Jr., 8-1); and Hoist the Gold (Ricardo Santana Jr., Dallas Stewart, 12-1)

Monday:

  • $175,000 Hanshin presented by the JRA (Race 8, 4:22 p.m.): Mish (Edwin Gonzales, Saffie Joseph Jr., 9-2); Runnin’ Ray (Martin Garcia, Joe Sharp, 15-1); Weyburn (Tyler Gaffalione, Brendan Walsh, 4-1);Awesome Gerry (Gerardo Corrales, Saffie Joseph Jr., 15-1); Three Technique (Rafael Bejarano, Jason Cook, 10-1); Plainsman (Ricardo Santana Jr., Brad Cox, 5-2); and Cody’s Wish (Junior Alvarado, Bill Mott, 8-5).
  • $175,000 Bashford Manor (Race 6, 3:18 p.m.): Gulfport (Brian Hernandez Jr., Steve Asmussen, 4-5);Owen’s Leap (Edgar Morales, Tom Amoss, 8-1); Andthewinneris (James Graham, Wayne Catalano, 5-1); Mr. Gordy (Gerardo Corrales, John Hancock, 12-1); Stayhonor Goodside (Florent Geroux, Mark Casse, 6-1); and Simply Super (Tyler Gaffalione, Mike Maker, 7-2)
  • $175,000 Debutante (Race 7, 3:50 p.m.): Crackalacking (Ferrin Peterson, Sarah Hamilton, 7-2); Eyes of Gold (Colby Hernandez, Larry Demeritte, 20-1); Wonder Wheel (Tyler Gaffalione, Mark Casse, 7-2);Sabra Tuff (Brian Hernandez Jr., Dallas Stewart, 8-1); Les Bon Temps (Florent Geroux, Norm Casse, 5-2); Frango Electrico (Rogelio Miranda, Ismael Bahena, 30-1); and Empire of My Own (Julien Leparoux, Steve Asmussen, 9-5)

          Wagering is available on www.TwinSpires.com, the official ADW of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby.

SHAPIRO OFFERS STEPHEN FOSTER DAY ALL-STAKES PICK 5 TICKET TwinSpires.com and Churchill Downs Handicapping Expert Scott Shapiro has offered fans a suggested ticket for Saturday’s all-stakes Pick 5 that will span races 6-10 and culminate with the $750,000 Stephen Foster (Grade II).

Shapiro’s ticket ($48):

Race 6 (Tepin): 2, 4, 6

Race 7 (American Derby): 6, 7, 9, 10

Race 8 (Fleur de Lis): 1

Race 9 (Kelly’s Landing): 4, 5

Race 10 (Stephen Foster): 1, 2, 3, 6

          Shapiro’s comments: “While the Stephen Foster looks extremely competitive between Mandaloun and Olympiad, I think there could be some other creative ways to go in that race and included Caddo River, who is in great form, and Americanrevolution who will attempt to rebound from a fourth-place finish in last month’s Blame Stakes. My key in the sequence is Super Quick in the $350,000 Fleur de Lis (GII). I think the Norm Casse-trained filly can have a pace advantage from the inside post and take the field gate-to-wire.”

The all-stakes Pick 5 sequence will begin at 3:23 p.m. with the $200,000 Tepin.

          Wagering is available on www.TwinSpires.com, the official wagering provider of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby.

 

MEET-END SIX-FURLONG MAIDEN RACE PRODUCES – Saturday’s first and third races, split divisions of a six-furlong $120,000 maiden special weight for 2-year-olds, have consistently produced future graded stakes performers. In fact, the winner has gone on to win a graded stakes event seven times in the last 16 years.

Last year’s winner was Gunite, who ran second to High Oak in the Saratoga Special (GII) and won the $300,000 Hopeful (GI) in his subsequent start for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. The previous year’s winner was Whiskey Double, who would finish second in the Bay Shore (GIII) and third in the Pat Day Mile (GII) for Asmussen. In 2019, the winner was the Eddie Kenneally-trained Scabbard, who’d go on to finish second in the Saratoga Special (GII) and Iroquois (GIII).

Graded stakes winners who broke their maiden on closing week of the Spring Meet at the same conditions include 2005 Hopeful (GI) winner First Samurai; 2009 Forego (GI) winner Pyro; 2009 Iroquois (GIII) winner Theskyhasnolimit; 2010 Sanford (GII) winner Maybesomaybenot; 2014 Dominion Day (GIII) winner Sky Captain; 2016 Sanford (GIII) winner Bitumen; and Gunite.

 

CHURCHILL DOWNS TO HOST JOCKEYS & JEANS STEPHEN FOSTER DAY – Churchill Downs will partner with Jockeys & Jeans for a public benefit toward the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund on July 2 as part of Stephen Foster Day.

          Jockeys & Jeans will host more than 25 retired jockeys for their event including Hall of Famers Braulio Baeza, Bill Boland, Don Brumfield, Steve Cauthen, Pat Day, Earlie Fires, Sandy Hawley, Julie Krone,Chris McCarron, Craig Perret, Laffit Pincay Jr., Edgar Prado, Jose Santos and Gary Stevens.

          Fans will be able to meet those riders and more with an autograph session in the Plaza from 3-4:15 p.m. There also will be a silent auction in the second floor of the Clubhouse beginning at 11:45 a.m. Admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m. and first post is 12:45 p.m.

          Guests can also purchase a ticket to the Jockeys & Jeans private event in the Triple Crown Room that includes a buffet lunch, autographed Jockeys & Jeans poster and a meet and greet with Hall of Fame jockeys and fallen riders. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online athttps://www.ticketmaster.com/event/16005B5CAD1637A6?did=jockey.

          Jockeys & Jeans was founded by a group of former jockeys who wanted to honor the courage of those who suffered catastrophic injuries on the racetrack. The event will host several riders who were permanently injured on the racetrack such as Gary Birzer, Stacy Burton, Jack Fires, Armando Rivera and Mike Straight.

          For more information about Jockeys & Jeans, visit www.jockeysandjeans.com.

CHURCHILL DOWNS LIVE AVAILABLE ON SMART TVs – The Churchill Downs LIVE app is available free of charge on streaming services such as Amazon, Apple TV and Roku. Fans can download the Churchill Downs LIVE app for full access to a free HD live stream of the Churchill Downs simulcast signal and three additional angles including the saddling paddock.

          Fans will get analysis each race day from host Joe Kristufek who will be joined alongside expert handicappers Kaitlin Free, James Scully, Scott Shapiro and Brandon Stauble.

          Wagering is available on www.TwinSpires.com, the official ADW of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby.

 

STAKES BONANZA – Closing weekend at Churchill Downs will feature 10 stakes races cumulatively worth more than $2.5 million (five on Saturday totaling $1.66 million; two on Sunday at $320,000; and three on Monday worth $525,000).

FOSTER FIELD AT A GLANCE – Combined, the seven Stephen Foster entrants have won 35 of their 97 starts (36.1%), including 15 stakes events, and $6.7 million. Mandaloun (Kentucky Derby and Haskell) and Americanrevolution (Cigar Mile) are Grade I winners. Last Samurai (Oaklawn Handicap) and Olympiad(New Orleans Classic and Alysheba) are Grade II winners. Olympiad is ranked No. 5 on the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll behind Flightline, Country Grammer, Life Is Good and Jackie’s Warrior.

FOSTER WIN AND YOU’RE IN – The 41st running of the $750,000 Stephen Foster (Grade II) is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series. The winner of the 1 1/8-mile race for 4-year-olds and up will earn a spot in the starting gate for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Keeneland Race Course on Saturday, Nov. 5. Also, the winner’s entry fees to the Classic will be paid and will receive a travel stipend if based outside the state of Kentucky. The Foster is the first domestic “Win and You’re In” prep race for the Classic, and has been a part of the “Win and You’re In” series since 2013. Four horses have won the Stephen Foster and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the same year. Black Tie Affair (1991) and Awesome Again (1998) won both races at Churchill Downs. Saint Liam (2005) won his running of the Classic at Belmont Park. Gun Runner (2017) won his Classic at Del Mar. Additionally, Fort Larned won the Classic in 2012 at Santa Anita and returned to his home base to win the 2013 Stephen Foster.

HORSE OF THE YEAR – Four horses used victories in the Stephen Foster as part of their résumés in Horse of the Year campaigns: Black Tie Affair (1991), Saint Liam (2005), Curlin (2008) and Gun Runner(2017). In addition, two Foster runner-ups were crowned Horse of the Year: Mineshaft (2003) and Wise Dan(2012).

FOSTER ON NBC – Saturday’s $750,000 Stephen Foster (Grade II) will be televised live nationally on NBC from 4-6 p.m. ET as part of the 2022 “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” television schedule. Saturday’s telecast is the second of nine live programs across NBC, CNBC and Peacock featuring 18 automatic qualifying races on the road to the 39th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held Nov. 4-5 at Keeneland Race Course. Other races to be televised on NBC include the $350,000 Fleur de Lis (GII) and $160,000 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes (Listed).

FOSTER STAKES RECORDVictory Gallop owns the stakes and track record for 1 1/8 miles of 1:47.28 established in 1999.

FOSTER JOCKEYSPat Day and Robby Albarado have won the Stephen Foster three times to lead all riders. Day’s Foster victories came in 1985 (Vanlandingham), 1998 (Awesome Again) and 2003 (Perfect Drift). Albarado won the race three consecutive years in 2007 (Flashy Bull), 2008 (Curlin) and 2009 (Macho Again).

FOSTER TRAINERS – Seven trainers have won the Stephen Foster twice: Forrest Kaelin (1982-83 with Vodika Collins); Jere Smith Jr. (1994-95 with Recoup The Cash); Pat Byrne (1997-98 with City by Night and Awesome Again); Mark Casse (2011 with Pool Play and 2015 with Noble Bird); Steve Asmussen (2008 with Curlin and 2017 with Gun Runner); Dallas Stewart (2009 with Macho Again and 2019 with Seeking the Soul); and Al Stall Jr. (2010 with Blame and 2020 with Tom’s d’Etat).

 

ENGRAVED KENTUCKY DERBY 148 TROPHIES TO BE PRESENTED SATURDAY – The connections from Team Rich Strike – owner Rick Dawson, trainer Eric Reed, jockey Sonny Leon and breeder Calumet Farm – will be at Churchill Downs on Saturday to accept their newly-engraved Kentucky Derby 148 trophies for the colt’s come-from-behind upset victory in America’s greatest race on May 7. The ceremony in the Woodford Reserve Winner’s Circle is scheduled after Race 7, which has a post time of 3:55 p.m. Guests in attendance will be able to take pictures with Rich Strike’s engraved Kentucky Derby 148 trophies as they’ll be on display inside the Paddock Gate from 1-2:30 p.m.