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Alan Garcia returns aboard Scotus after winning the Matt Winn Stakes
Stephen Foster Day Presented by Abu Dhabi is the biggest day of racing at Churchill Downs outside of Kentucky Derby weekend. Five graded stakes races (one of which is for Purebred Arabians) were conducted on Saturday afternoon, under sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70's. Rains overnight left a sloppy track early in the afternoon including the Arabian race, but the track quickly dried and was officially rated fast for the later stakes.
Down the stretch in the Matt Winn Stakes
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 7 Scotus Garcia 18.40 7.20 4.00 2 Infrattini Lanerie 4.80 3.20 8 Joe Vann Castellano 3.00 Winning Time: 1:44.12 $2 Exacta 7-2 82.80 $2 Trifecta 7-2-8 362.60 $2 Superfecta 7-2-8-3 595.20
Left: Scotus in the winner's circle. Trainer Ken McPeek said, "I came very close to scratching him. I debated all morning long whether this was the right spot for him or not. We were thinking that we were going to scratch if Joe Vann stayed in and we would run in the starter allowance tomorrow. Finally I called (owner) Pete Callahan and said, 'These are the races we like winning and these are the kind of races we need to run in. Let's just go with it."
Right: Scotus in the post parade. Jockey Alan Garcia said, "I had a great trip and I knew I just had to be patient because of the long stretch. He ran a really great race and once he got running I knew I was going to get there."
Left: Second place finisher Infrattini in the post parade. Trainer Paul McGee said, "I was pretty happy with him. He came running. He was pretty far back, but he did come running. Maybe he had a little traffic to go through in the last part."
Right: Third place finisher Joe Vann in the post parade. Jockey Mike Smith said, "I'm disappointed. The only thing I can tell you is it didn't seem like the track was speed favoring today at all. He got on his lead and he got it easy. I don't want sit here and make too many excuses for him. But all I can say is I know the track didn't play for him and I was hitting the ground now and then that he wasn't comfortable with."
A field of 8 three-year-old fillies went to post in the $125,000 Regret Stakes (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Kathmanblu was the 9-5 favorite off a poor 6th in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), over 3-1 Excited, winner of the Hilltop last out, and 4-1 Bizzy Caroline, an allowance winner making her stakes debut. 8-1 Bouquet Booth set the pace of 24.61, 49.19, and 1:12.87 while being stalked by Excited the whole way. With 3/16 to go, Excited moved up to take the lead through 1 mile in 1:37.15, but Bizzy Caroline, 5th early, came through late to win going away by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:49.73. It was another 1/2 length back to Bouquet Booth third, while favorite Kathmanblu was a head back in fourth.
Full results chart from DRF
Left: Bizzy Caroline in the winner's circle. Trainer Ken McPeek said, "She ran a great race. I think she is a filly that just needed time to mature. When she was younger, she looked like a horse that was headed in the right direction, but would need some time. The Clays are a great family and had no problem with us taking our time to develop her."
Right: Bizzy Caroline returns after the race. Jockey Manoel Cruz said, "I rode her with a lot of confidence and let her tell me where she wanted to be in the race. Ken has a lot of faith in me. He just said go do my job."
Left: Second place finisher Excited in the post parade. The 3-1 second choice pressed the pace under jockey Javier Castellano, took the lead briefly but could not contain the winner. The Todd Pletcher trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 4 seconds, and 1 third in 9 starts earning $157,496 for owner Michael Tabor.
Right: Third place finisher Bouquet Booth in the paddock before the post parade. The 8-1 shot set the pace early under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan only to tire in the final furlong to finish third beaten 3 3/4 lengths. The Steve Margolis trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 9 starts, earning $465,698 for owner Right Time Racing LLC.
The $50,000 President of the United Arab Emirates Cup (G1) for Arabians is the first ever race for purebred Arabians run at Churchill Downs, with a field of 8 older horses going 1 1/4 miles on the main track. Jockey Calvin Borel sent 3-1 second choice Ovour the Top to the lead and he set fractions of 25.32, 51.95, and 1:19.79 while being stalked by 7-10 favorite Grilla. Into the stretch, 5-1 T M Fred Texas, third early, came through to take the lead and drew off through the lane to win by 9 1/4 lengths over Dixies Valentine in 2:19.85 over the sloppy, sealed track. It was a long 16 1/2 lengths back to 9-1 Ovour the Top, and 4 1/2 more to favorite Grilla.
Trainer Ron Martino said, "Everyone has been saying that horses by (sire) Burning Sand can't go long, but we proved them wrong today. I was never concerned about the distance." Jockey Santos Chavez added, "I did what Mr. Martino told me to do. He told me to lay off the pace and then make one run and be sure to get keep him focused when we made the lead."
Full results chart from DRF
Stephen Foster Handicap results and photos
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