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Stephen Foster Weekend | Superfectablog v3.0

Racehorses in History

June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

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Stephen Foster Weekend

While it may seem to the rest of the world that racing disappears in between the Belmont and the Breeders’ Cup (they do know about the Breeders’ Cup, right?), there’s plenty going on this weekend. The Stephen Foster features Master Command (pictured) and Magna Graduate from Pletcher’s barn. The race might include a rabbit for Rick Dutrow’s Diamond Stripes; you may recall that when the Dutrow-trained Saint Liam won this race, Dutrow was not listed as his trainer as he was serving a suspension. I really like Magna Graduate; he seems to have a lot of potential that he doesn’t quite fulfill – maybe this will be his weekend.

It’s a great undercard as well — the Northern Dancer features Chelokee; Zanjero and Sam P. (both hopelessly overmatched in the Derby) will be returning to action as well although I suspect Chelokee is in a different class.

The ladies are in action too; Bushfire returns in the Ogden Phipps, facing off against Take D’Tour, who won last year’s installment. Asi Siempre, Balance and Ermine are all in action in the Fleur de Lis. The Mint Julep and the Regret are on the undercard as well; the Regret features Dreaming of Anna back on the turf.

There’s turf excitement away from Churchill Downs as well — the Colonial Turf Cup (the first leg of the under-publicized Grand Slam of Grass; it seems odd that the other legs, beginning with the Virginia Derby, will be televised, but this first race in the series is largely ignored) and Soldier’s Dancer is favored — I am curious to see how the European-bred horses will run, particularly Mysterious Peintre.

Finally, in Horse Racing Marketing Land, I have yet to see any officially-licensed Rags to Riches merchandise — but you can always pick up things like this cell phone ‘purse’ on eBay. Here’s another hot tip (for which read ‘no-brainer’) for horse racing’s marquee events: put out a t-shirt of the winner complete with the date and winning time. This is not difficult to mock up ahead of time and you should be able to buy them from the NTRA or on the host track’s website within a few days of the race. Again, baseball figured this out a long time ago…

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