The $500,000 Stephen Foster (G2) will be run Saturday as race 10 at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile dirt race is for older horses and it drew a solid field of eight.
Top Picks for the Stephen Foster
- #1 Fearless
- #5 Tom’s d’Etat
- #8 Owendale
- #6 By My Standards
Betting the Stephen Foster
- $20 Win: 1
- $10 Exacta: 5, 6, 8 with 1
Stephen Foster Contenders
#1 Fearless began his career late last year and promptly won his first two starts. His allowance win at Gulfstream Park was impressive so he was thrown into the deep water next out in the New Orleans Classic S. (G2) at the Fair Grounds. He wasn’t going to beat the winner that day, but didn’t perform poorly bad considering the rough trip he experienced against much more experienced rivals. Next out at Oaklawn Park, the 4-year-old rallied from way back to get second behind a winner that freaked in his first start off the claim. Off a sharp allowance win here last out, he tries graded stakes company again but with more seasoning.
#2 Pirate’s Punch is a speedball that could be tough on the front end but doesn’t get any real break in the weights. He went gate to wire at Oaklawn Park two starts back in fast time then just missed there last out when he was forced to rally from behind in post 10. Mike Smith picks up the mount for a very underrated trainer.
#3 Alkhaastam has used up his allowance conditions with two recent wins on the dirt. Son of Tapit ran a career-best effort last out here, but still needs to improve to get a piece of this.
#4 Multiplier ships in from California for the dangerous Peter Miller. His best race was a close second in the 10-furlong Santa Anita Handicap (G1) but has regressed since then. Off for only seven days, he picks up Tyler Gaffalione.
#5 Tom’s d’Etat just keeps getting better at the age of seven and he’s not even gelded. Third in this race last year, he won the Clark (G1) at course and distance last November. Off for more than four months, he returned at Oaklawn Park and won over a speed-favoring sealed track and now moves up in class. Al Stall trainee has terrific cruising speed and can be placed anywhere in the race. Miguel Mena rides for the first time, but the son of Smart Strike has already won for four different jockeys in his 17 starts.
#6 By My Standards looked good winning the Louisiana Derby (G2) last year but was wiped out in the slop in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Off for nine months, he has come back this year with three straight wins including a grade two win at Oaklawn Park at today’s distance despite breaking from post 12. A perfect stalking trip with Gabe Saez looks very possible.
#7 Silver Dust had a good winter at the Fair Grounds winning two graded stakes races on the dirt going two turns. He just missed last out at Oaklawn Park and moves back up in class. Tapit gelding has had four starts this year but none of his races look as fast as they used to be.
#8 Owendale was a nice sophomore colt last year with three graded stakes wins. This year, he rallied from way back to win a one-turn mile stakes in fast time and now makes his second start off the long layoff. He has learned to relax early and come on late. Wide post won’t matter since he will drop far back and save ground early.
The Stephen Foster S. Live Stream
Our handicapping experts, Ed DeRosa, Joe Kristufek, Scott Shapiro and James Scully discuss the race.