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Not many horses record their first win in a graded-stakes race, but trainer Lon Wiggins believes Shesakitty could do just that in Saturday’s $100,000-added Debutante (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Garry Simms won last year’s running of the Debutante (GIII) at Churchill Downs with Flashy Lassie and he will attempt to repeat in the first graded stakes event in North America for 2-year-old fillies with Barry King and Dorothy Self’s Blueeyesintherein, the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
Groupie Doll has resumed training at Churchill Downs following a brief vacation at trainer Buff Bradley’s Indian Ridge Farm in Frankfort after her record-breaking performance in the Humana Distaff (Grade I) beneath the Twin Spires on Kentucky Derby Day.
Dede McGehee’s St. John’s River has run well in her two notable starts at Churchill Downs, and trainer Andy Leggio Jr. expects another top effort over the Louisville track from the 4-year-old bay daughter of Include in Saturday night’s 37th running of the $150,000-added Fleur de Lis (Grade II).
Wise Dan, the winner of last fall’s Clark Handicap (Grade I) at Churchill Downs who recently broke a track record at Keeneland in his 10 ½-length romp in the Ben Ali (GIII), was reported to be full of himself Thursday morning and trainer Charlie Lopresti said his star is ready for Saturday’s $400,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI).
Catesby Clay’s Rogue Romance could be one of the longest shots on the board for the $400,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) on Saturday evening at Churchill Downs, but trainer Ken McPeek hopes for a top effort from his 4-year-old colt when he faces a group of some of the best older horses in training.
NATES MINESHAFT CONFIRMED FOR SATURDAY’S STEPHEN FOSTER – Trainer Austin Smith has confirmed Tuesday that Windy Hill Farm’s Nates Mineshaft, a 7 ¼-length winner of both the Lone Star Park Handicap (Grade III) in his most recent start and the New Orleans Handicap (GII) earlier at Fair Grounds, will compete in Saturday night’s 31
NEHRO, ASTROLOGY LIKELY STRONG DUO FOR ASMUSSEN IN GRADE I FOSTER – Trainer Steve Asmussen said Monday that he has “mixed emotions” about running the “two best horses” in his stable against an imposing field in the $400,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I), but he expects to have a double-barreled threat in the starting gate for Saturday
Morton Fink’s homebred Wise Dan, a 10 ½-length winner of the Ben Ali (Grade III) in track-record time on Keeneland’s synthetic Polytrack surface, has been named the 123 pound high weight by Churchill Downs’ Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for Saturday’s $400,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI).
Peter Callahan’s Scotus will make his fifth career start beneath the Twin Spires in Saturday’s $73,600 Opening Verse at Churchill Downs, but it will be his first visit to the Matt Winn Turf Course. In fact, it will be his first race on the turf anywhere.