Today’s Churchill Downs barn notes (Above: Maxfield winning Churchill Downs’ Alysheba Stakes on the Kentucky Oaks card. Coady Photography)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, June 19, 2021) – With five days remaining in the 2021 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs, next Saturday’s closing day stakes spectacular is beginning to take shape. The 11-race program is scheduled to headlined by Godolphin’s Grade I winner Maxfield in the featured $600,000 Stephen Foster (Grade II) – one of seven stakes events on the card.
Maxfield, trained by Brendan Walsh, recorded his final work prior to the 1 1/8-mile Stephen Foster on Saturday at Churchill Downs with an easy half-mile move in :48.80 at 5:30 a.m. Maxfield enters the Stephen Foster following a convincing 3 ¼-length win in the $400,0000 Alysheba presented by Sentient Jet (GII).
The talented son of Street Sense is slated to be joined in the gate by fellow graded stakes winners Chess Chief (trainer Dallas Stewart), Silver Dust (Bret Calhoun) and Warrior’s Charge(Brad Cox). All three horses completed their major Stephen Foster preparation Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Virginia-bred Chess Chief, owned by the Estate of James Coleman Jr., worked a half-mile in :48.20. The four-time winner is scheduled to be ridden by John Velazquez in the Stephen Foster.
Owned by Tom Durant, Silver Dust breezed a half-mile in :49 under regular rider Adam Beschizza. The striking gray son of Tapit continued to gallop out past the wire and completed five furlongs in 1:01.20.
Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables’ Warrior’s Charge worked a half-mile in :48.20 at 7:30 a.m. Florent Geroux is scheduled to ride.
Other runners expected to take part in the Stephen Foster are Empty Tomb (Mike Maker) and possibly Visitant (Bill Morey), according to assistant racing secretary and stakes coordinator Dan Bork.
The Stephen Foster is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race for the $6 million LonginesClassic (GI) on Nov. 6 at Del Mar. The winner receives an all entry fees paid berth to the season-ending championship event.
Here are the other probable runners for the six undercard races to the Stephen Foster, according to Bork:
· $300,000 Fleur de Lis (GII), run at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and up, Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Distaff Division: Dreamalildreamofu (Brad Cox); Envoutante (Kenny McPeek); Point of Honor (Shug McGaughey); Singita Dreams (Phil Bauer); Spice Is Nice (Todd Pletcher); and Vault (Brad Cox).
· $300,000 Wise Dan (GII), run at 1 1/16 miles on turf for 4-year-olds and up: Field Pass(Mike Maker); In Love (BRZ) (Paulo Lobo); Ride a Comet (Mark Casse); Set Piece (GB) (Brad Cox); and Somelikeithotbrown (Mike Maker). Possible: Spooky Channel (Jason Barkley)
· $150,000 Bashford Manor (GIII), run at six furlongs for 2-year-olds: Double Thunder(Todd Pletcher); Glacial (Norm Casse); Kavod (Jimmy Chapman); Landsdowne (Dallas Stewart); Red Run (Steve Asmussen); Vodka N Water (Steve Asmussen); Whatstheconnection (John Ennis); and Whistlewhileyoumow (Jon Arnett).
· $150,000 Debutante (Listed), run at six furlongs for 2-year-old fillies: Bandits Warrior(John Robb); Classiness (Jason Barkley); Mi Estrella (Genaro Garcia); Mollie Kate (John Ennis); Ontheonesandtwos (Norm Casse); She’sgotattitude (John Ennis); Sommer Velvet(Kevin Boniface); Take the Backroads (Tom Amoss); Tizplenty (Steve Asmussen); and Wicked Halo (Steve Asmussen).
· $150,000 Tepin, run at one-mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies: Adventuring (Brad Cox); Arm Candy (Steve Asmussen); Barista (Jimmy Baker); Bullseye Beauty (Andrew McKeever);Commanders Palace (Mark Casse); Fairchild (Mark Casse); Invincible Gal (GB) (Graham Motion); and New Boss (Bret Calhoun).
· $150,000 War Chant, run at one-mile on turf for 3-year-olds: Accredit (Pavel Matejka); DynO Mite (Keith Desormeaux); Helium (Mark Casse); and Royal Prince (Brad Cox).
Entries for Saturday’s card take place Wednesday.
CASH RECORDS FIRST TRAINING VICTORY FRIDAY WITH PICKFORD – Owner/trainer Norman “Lynn” Cash recorded his first victory as a trainer Friday at Churchill Downs with $8,000 claimer Pickford.
Cash, a longtime owner and breeder, started his first horse as a trainer on April 23 at Keeneland. The 57-year-old conditioner co-owns his horses with his wife, Lola.
Cash had five horses entered over the next three days at Churchill Downs.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Saturday’s 20-cent Derby City 6 had a carryover of $134,660 in Races 6-11 while the $1 Super Hi 5 had a carryover of $2,510. The 11-race program began at 12:45 p.m. … Trainer Brad Cox was one win away from 300 Churchill Downs victories. He had three horses entered Saturday. … Trainer Bernie Flint was one win away from 500 Churchill Downs victories and had one horse entered Saturday. … Bruce Lunsford’s Blue Grass Stakes (GII) winner Art Collector recorded his final work Saturday at Churchill Downs prior to Friday’s $110,000 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes. The Bernardini colt cruised a half-mile in :47.40.