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Calvin Borel celebrates his win in the Stephen Foster aboard longshot Seek Gold.

2006 Stephen Foster Handicap Results

Date: 06/17/2006

Stephen Foster Super Saturday is the biggest race day of the spring meet at Churchill Downs other than during Kentucky Derby week. A crowd of 12,056 was on hand with beautiful sunny weather and sweltering 90 degree temperatures. The highlight race of the afternoon was the $844,500 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) for older horses at 1 1/8 miles on the main track. A field of nine went to the gate, with Buzzards Bay sent off as the 7-5 favorite. Also in the event were Dubai World Cup runner-up Brass Hat at 5-2 and 4-1 third choice Love of Money.

Check out the other five graded races on the undercard, worth over $1 million total, here.

First time by with Buzzards Bay, Cosmonaut, and Love of Money out front.
Love of Money was quickest out of the gate under jockey Edgar Prado, and was loose on the lead down the backstretch through fractions of 23.61, 47.08, and 1:11.16 over the fast surface, while staying well off the rail. Buzzards Bay stalked in him second taking the ground-saving path, after a bumpy start. Turning for home, a cavalry charge ensued as Love of Money faded out of contention. 11-1 shot Perfect Drift, who made his charge from sixth on the turn, looked to be home free with a 2-length advantage over Brass Hat with a furlong to go. However, the longest shot on the board, 92-1 Seek Gold, was closing with every stride having taken a very wide far turn to circle the field. Down the center of the track, Seek Gold steadily gained on Perfect Drift and just caught him at the wire in a tight photo, completing the 9-furlong feature in 1:49.24. It was 1 3/4 length back to 7-1 West Virginia in third, and just a neck back to favorite Buzzards Bay fourth. Brass Hat finished in a dead heat for fifth.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place   Show
 2   Seek Gold          Borel       185.40   41.20  13.20
 7   Perfect Drift      Guidry                8.20   4.60
 3   West Virginia      Gomez                        5.60

Winning Time:  1:49.24

$2 Exacta 2-7               1,040.00
$2 Trifecta 2-7-3           6,807.80
$2 Superfecta 2-7-3-1      85,697.80
Full results chart

Seek Gold returns after the race. Winning trainer Ron Moquett said, "This horse has run great races over this track, at this distance, against these caliber horses. I just couldn't understand. I thought 20-1 or 25-1 based on recency, but there's no way he should have went off at those odds. I'm a big fan of the gambling public, but this is one where I think they might look back and say, Oops."

This was the first race for Seek Gold since being purchased by Bowman Couch Racing, LLC and turned over to trainer Ron Moquett. His former trainer was Nick Zito for owner Robert LaPenta.

Seek Gold in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Calvin Borel said, "Unbelievable! I didn't want to go by [Perfect Drift] because I know how he is. He's a horse that needs something to pick off. I waited as long as I could. We just wanted to take our horse back and make one run."

Second place finisher Perfect Drift leads in the stretch, but Seek Gold is coming on the far outside to catch him late. His trainer Murray Johnson said, "If he had my nose, we would have won. We can't win them all, but we thought we had that one. He's as good as ever. He just eased up a little bit at the wrong time."

Third place finisher West Virginia heads out for the post parade. His jockey Garrett Gomez said, "He ran a tremendous race; very game. He was coming on strongly at the end and gave me everything he had. In the stretch I saw Perfect Drift ahead of us and I thought, 'Oh, man, that's not what I wanted to see!' But my horse dug in and finished very well. It was a gutsy performance."

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