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Stephen Foster

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 6/13/2013 7:05:48 PM

What: Stephen Foster Handicap
Who: Take Charge Indy (win)
Where: Churchill Downs
When: Saturday, June 15

They say you have to be ‘in it to win it’ and whoever wins the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Saturday will get a free pass into Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The $500,000-added 9-furlong fixture will have a short and sweet field and it should be a competitive race for online sports betting site players to deal with this weekend.

Some solid runners have won this race over the years. Black Tie Affair, a BC Classic winner, cashed in this race in 1991,

Bobby Frankel’s Saint Liam won this fray in 2005 and the great Curlin was found in the winner’s circle after the 2008 running.

This year, the winners of the Foster in 2011 (Pool Play) and 2012 (Ron the Greek) will suit up and battle for all the money.

Pool Play will need a betting sites comeback race. He has only won once since that 2011 victory in this race and that was at 16-1 in a Grade 2 at Hawthorne. He has won fresh and in the local win in this race he was coming off a similar layoff.

Ron the Greek won once this year, in the slop in the $400,000 Sunshine Millions Classic. The margin of over 11 lengths was aided by the off surface and he did improve in his last race getting beat by Game on Dude in the opulent Charles Town Classic.

Repeatedly proven fresh, he has been expertly managed by trainer Bill Mott.

Successful Dan will have his share of backers mainly because, well, he’s been successful.

He has won 8 of his 12 starts lifetime, is coming off a Grade 3 winner at Keeneland but he has to try to turn the tables on Fort Larned, who beat him in his 2012 closer.

Fort Larned had a rough trip in this race last year but has won 3 of his 6 horse betting races since. This guy opened the year dropping his rider and was only a brief factor when wide in his last race, the Oaklawn Handicap.

Golden Ticket broke out of the box winning the Grade 1 Travers last year at 33-1. He has only won two allowance races since but the last race was here at Churchill and it served as a confidence builder.

Take Charge Indy has plenty of back class to boast as he won the Grade 1 Florida Derby in 2011.

His style is no secret, he wants to be close up early and that will give him an edge on the deep closers. Love the fact he has speed but doesn’t absolutely need the lead to win.

Sometimes you just have to go with the hot horse and Take Charge Indy fits the bill. He looms the speed of the speed, has shown the ability to be placed anywhere and still win and he has trained solidly since winning here on May 3 with a 109 Beyer.

The horse that beat Indy in the 2013 opener returned to win the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap with a 103 Beyer.

Take him on top.

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