Olympiad tracked a quick pace, grabbed the lead at the top of the stretch and held a rallying Americanrevolution at bay in deep stretch to win Saturday’s 41st running of the $740,000 Stephen Foster (Grade II) at Churchill Downs by 2 ¼ lengths while clocking 1 1/8 miles in a swift 1:47.66 – the seventh fastest renewal of the race and just .38 off Victory Gallop’s 1999 stakes and track record of 1:47.28

Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott and ridden by Junior Alvarado for owners Grandview Equine (Robert Clay), Cheyenne Stable LLC (Everett Dobson) and LNJ Foxwoods (Larry, Nanci and Jaime Roth), Olympiad rated one length back of pacesetter Caddo River, who rattled off fractions :23.05, :46.45 and 1:10.64.

Around the final turn, Olympiad was ready to pounce on the tiring leader. Simultaneously, Mandaloun, who was made the 2021 Kentucky Derby winner following the disqualification of Medina Spirit, loomed boldly from third in his first start since a ninth-place finish in the $20 million Saudi Cup (GI) on Feb. 26, and Grade I Cigar Mile winner Americanrevolution tipped out for his charge from fourth.

Olympiad, who began the week ranked No. 5 on the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll behind Flightline, Country Grammer, Life Is Good and Jackie’s Warrior, kicked clear in upper stretch and held strong in the final furlong to collect his fifth consecutive win. His list of victories this year includes triumphs in the $250,000 Mineshaft (GIII), $500,000 New Orleans, $500,000 Alysheba (GII) and now $740,000 Stephen Foster (GII).

“I thought it was a very game win this afternoon,” Mott said via telephone. “There were some nice horses in this field and I thought he did things rather easily. It was really nice to see him win like that.”

His next attempt is likely to be an attempt to collect a Grade I victory in the $1 million Whitney at Saratoga in five weeks on Aug. 6.

“Bill Mott likes to have horses on win streaks, like Cigar,” said Mott’s Kentucky-based assistant Kenny McCarthy. “This horse has started one of his own and he’s been such a pleasure every time he’s run in our care in Kentucky. The whole team did a great job to get him back here and it’s very special to win the Stephen Foster again. He has such a big stride and it’s so powerful in the late stages of his races.”

Mott also won the 2012 Stephen Foster with Ron the Greek.

The lofty $455,320 first prize lifted the bay Kentucky-bred colt’s earnings to millionaire status: $1,407,560 from a record of 7-1-1 in 10 starts.

“This horse has such a big stride on him and really extends it late in races,” Alvarado said. “I think as he’s gotten older he’s gotten faster in each start. Today we sat in a good position just off of the early pace and he showed how powerful his stride can be. I asked him just a little bit in the final furlong and he continued to get faster. He’s a great horse and has shown his talent all year long. It will be a fun rest of the year.”

The victory in the Stephen Foster, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In Classic Division” race, earned Olympiad a guaranteed spot in the starting gate for the $6 million Longines Classic (GI), which is scheduled for Nov. 5 at Keeneland. Also, his connections will have all Breeders’ Cup pre-entry and entry fees covered and could receive a travel award up to $10,000.

Olympiad, at odds of 3-2, rewarded his backers with mutuels of $5, $3.40 and $2.60. Americanrevolution, with Luis Saez aboard, was second and returned $4 and $3.20 as the 7-2 third betting choice. Proxy, another 2 ¾ lengths back in third under Joel Rosario, paid $3.60 to show at odds of 11-1.

“He tried so hard this afternoon” Saez said of Americanrevolution. “The winner was simply the best but he put in a run in multiple areas of the race. He just couldn’t quite match strides with Olympiad.”

Mandaloun flattened to fourth and was followed by Title Ready, Caddo River and Last Samurai.

“It was disappointing,” said Mandaloun’s jockey Florent Geroux. “We were expecting a big effort today. He never quite grabbed the bit around the turn.”

Olympiad is a son of Speightstown out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Tokyo Time and was bred by Emory A. Hamilton.

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SHEDARESTHEDEVIL RUNS DOWN SUPER QUICK IN GRADE II, $350,000 FLEUR DE LIS

Shedaresthedevil, winner of the 2020 Kentucky Oaks, improved her Churchill Downs record to six wins in seven starts when the 4-year-old filly ran down loose pacesetter Super Quick in deep stretch to win Saturday’s 47th running of the $350,000 Fleur de Lis (Grade II) by 1 ¾ lengths.

Shedaresthedevil clocked 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.17 under Florent Geroux, who rode the winner for trainer Brad Cox and owners Whisper Hill Farm LLC, Qatar Racing Limited and Flurry Racing Stables LLC. It was her first win three starts this year.

“We’re really proud of the race she ran today,” Cox said. “We’ve targeted this race for a long time. She loves it here at Churchill Downs and Florent gave her a perfect ride. It was a tough field but I had confidence in her when I saw her position going around the turn that she’d have enough left to chase down (Super Quick).”

Super Quick, runaway winner of the Allaire DuPont Distaff (GIII) at Pimlico on Black-Eyed Susan Day, went straight to the front and led the field of five fillies and mares through moderate fractions of :24.13, :47.83 and 1:12.09 as Shedaresthedevil stalked in second. Shedaresthedevil drew even with the weary pacesetter with a furlong to go and edged clear through the final sixteenth of a mile.

“We sat in a perfect position the entire way around the track,” Geroux said. “Inside the eighth pole she started to find her best stride and drew away late. She’s back.”

Shedaresthedevil paid $4.80, $3 and $2.10 as the slight 7-5 favorite. Super Quick, with jockey Joe Talamo aboard, paid $3.20 and $2.60 as the 2-1 third choice. Pauline’s Pearl, the 7-5 second betting choice ridden by Joel Rosario, was another 3 ½ lengths back in third returned $2.10.

She’s All Wolfe and Ava’s Grace rounded out the field.

Shedaresthedevil, a daughter of Daredevil out of the Congrats mare Starship Warpspeed, improved her overall record to 10-3-5 in 20 starts, and the $216,000 first prize boosted her career earnings to $2,729,458. She was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm.

This marked the eighth graded stakes win of Shedaresthedevil’s career. At 3, she won the Honeybee (GIII), Indiana Oaks (GIII) and Kentucky Oaks (GI). Her 2021 campaign featured wins in the Azeri (GII), La Troienne (GI), Clement L. Hirsch (GI) and Locust Grove (GIII).

The Fleur de Lis is part of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Dozen where a portion of entry fees will be paid to the top three finishers toward the $2 million Distaff (GI) held on Nov. 5 at Keeneland.

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ALOHA WEST BACK TO FORM IN KELLY’S LANDING

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade I) winner Aloha West returned to the winner’s circle Saturday as he ran down pacesetter Kneedeepinsnow in deep stretch and turned back a late charge from Miles Ahead to win Saturday’s 12th running of the $120,350 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs by a neck.

Trained by Wayne Catalano and ridden by Joel Rosario, Aloha West found a drop in class to his liking as he clocked 6 1/2 furlongs over a “fast” track in 1:15.45 to collect his second career stakes. Previously this year, Aloha West ran third behind Jackie’s Warrior and Reinvestment Risk in the $750,000 Churchill Downs (GI) on Kentucky Derby Day and fourth in the $1 million Metropolitan Handicap (GI) behind Flightline, Happy Saver and Speaker’s Corner on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

The triumph for the Maryland-bred was worth $57,722 and boosted Aloha West’s bankroll to $1,507,290 with a record of 6-2-1 in 12 starts.

“We’re glad he got his feet back underneath him today,” Catalano said. “He ran into some stiff competition in his last two starts and he was coming off the layoff. Our goal is to get him back to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Today, we started our way back by getting his confidence back. Joel had to ask him a little bit early in the race just to keep his position since he was inside of horses.”

Kneedeepinshow set the pace in the field of seven older horses as he clipped off fractions of :22.33, :44.80 and 1:09.07 while. Aloha West tracked from the inside. Aloha West was second leaving the turn, surged past Kneedeepinsnow at the sixteenth pole and held off the fast-closing Miles Ahead for the win.

“I had to ride him a little bit up into the pace today to keep his position,” Rosario said. “I think he got his confidence back today. He’s a very talented horse and showed his class today.”

Aloha West is a 5-year-old son of Hard Spun out of the Speightstown mare Island Bound. He was bred by Robert T. Manfuso and Katherine M. Voss.

Aloha West returned $3.80, $3 and $2.40. Miles Ahead, at odds of 15-1 under Joe Talamo, returned $8.40 and $5 and finished two lengths in front of Kneedeepinsnow who paid $4.20 to show under Ricardo Santana Jr. as the 6-1 third choice.

Defending champion and 2-1 second choice Bango was fourth and was followed by Heart Rhythm, Bob’s Edge and Startdfromdabottom. A C Expressway and Awesome Gerry were scratched.

The Kelly’s Landing honors the Summerplace Farm runner who earned $1,853,831 from a record of 10-3-2 in 27 starts for trainer Eddie Kenneally between 2004-09. The gelding won the six-furlong Aristides Handicap (Grade III) at Churchill Downs in 2005 by stopping the teletimer in a track record 1:07.55 (since eclipsed). His biggest victory came in the 2007 Dubai Golden Saheen at Nad Al Sheba in the United Arab Emirates. Kelly’s Landing also won the 2006 Phoenix (GIII) at Keeneland and 2007 Mr. Prospector Handicap (GIII) at Gulfstream Park.

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RATTLE N ROLL TRIUMPHS IN $200,000 AMERICAN DERBY

Lucky Seven Stable’s Grade I winner Rattle N Roll returned to the winner’s circle Saturday by running down Kuchar in deep stretch to win the 107th running of the $200,000 American Derby (Listed) at Churchill Downs by two lengths.

Rattle N Roll, winner of last fall’s Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland, ran 1 1/16 miles over a “fast” track in 1:43.27. Brian Hernandez Jr. rode the winner for trainer Kenny McPeek and owner Michael J. Mackin of Louisville, who races as Lucky Seven Stable.

McLaren Vale dictated the terms in the two-turn test for 3-year-olds through comfortable fractions of :24.40, :48.66 and 1:12.98 as Rattle N Roll tracked in the clear in fourth down the backstretch. Kuchar, who stalked in second, poked his head in front leaving the final turn but Rattle N Roll ranged into contention from the outside and dueled with him in upper stretch before gaining the advantage with a furlong to run and driving clear in the final sixteenth of a mile.

The victory was worth $120,245 and increased Rattle N Roll’s earnings to $605,105 with a record of 3-1-2 in 10 starts. The Kentucky-bred son of Connect out of the Johannesburg mare Jazz Tune previously finished third in the $225,000 Matt Winn (GIII) at Churchill Downs 20 days ago on June 12.

“He’s a really nice horse and showed that today,” Hernandez Jr. said. “Kenny, I think, wanted to give him a confidence booster two starts ago and he was just second best that day but I think it worked because he ran a credible third last time (in the Matt Winn) and ran hard today.”

At age 2, he impressively broke his maiden by three lengths at Churchill Downs and went on to a four-length score in the Breeders’ Futurity. After five winless starts as 3-year-old, the American Derby was his first triumph since the Breeders’ Futurity.

“It wasn’t 10 minutes after the announcement was made this race was going to be run on dirt that Mike (Mackin) called me and asked if we could supplement him to this field,” McPeek said. “I thought it was good idea. We didn’t even breeze him between races, just galloped him. He didn’t have to face the likes of Cyberknife or Howling Time today. I wouldn’t say he’s at the top of the 3-year-old class but he isn’t chopped liver either.”

Rattle N Roll paid $5.40, $3.20 and $2.60. Kuchar, with jockey Florent Geroux aboard, paid $4.60 and $2.80 as the 7-2 third betting choice. Red Run, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione at odds of 10-1, was another 3 ¼ lengths back in third and returned $4.60.

Kitodan, Search Engine, Jr’s Gift, McLaren Vale and O P Firecracker rounded out the field. Fowler Blue, Double Clutch and War Campaign were scratched.

Rattle N Roll was bred by St. Simon Place.

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WICKED HALO CRUISES IN $188,500 TEPIN

Winchell Thoroughbred’s homebred Wicked Halo, the odds-on 1-5 favorite, was rated in third down the backstretch before easily dispatching her three rivals in the stretch to comfortably win Saturday’s third running of the $188,500 Tepin Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Wicked Halo completed one mile on a “fast” track in 1:36.91.

Heartyconstitution, the 9-5 second betting choice, went to the front with Verylittlecents on her right hip and Wicked Halo relaxed and in the clear on the outside in third. After a quarter mile in :23.08 and a half-mile in :45.57, Wicked Halo came off the turn in front and kicked away for a 4 ¾-length win over Heartyconstitution, who finished a neck in front of a rallying Zawish.

“She was very professional today and handled things very well out on the track,” Gaffalione said. “We sat a perfect trip just off of the early pace and turning for home she was able to separate from the other fillies.”

Wicked Halo paid $2.60 and $2.10. Heartyconstitution, with Luis Saez up, returned $2.40 to place. There was no show wagering. Zawish and Verylittlecents completed the order of finish in the compact field of four following the scratches of Patna, Runaway Wife and Sandstone.

With her win Saturday, Wicked Halo, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Gun Runner out of the Tapit mare Just Wicked, improved her record to 4-0-3 in eight starts with purse earnings of $436,550. Saturday’s victory was worth $123,500.

The winner of the Grade II Adirondack at Saratoga at 2, Wicked Halo has won two consecutive stakes at 3. Previously, she won the $158,700 Leslie’s Lady Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs 20 days ago on June 12.

“We were a little aggressive with her as a 2-year-old to get (sire) Gun Runner off to a fast start,” Asmussen said. “Today she ran the longest race of her career at a mile and handled everything beautifully. She won very professionally and is a very solid filly. We are fortunate to have her.”

The Tepin is named after the brilliant two-time Eclipse Award-winning turf mare in 2015-16.

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STEPHEN FOSTER QUOTES

Junior Alvarado, (jockey, Olympiad, winner) – “This horse has such a big stride on him and really extends it late in races. I think as he’s gotten older he’s gotten faster in each start. Today we sat in a good position just off of the early pace and he showed how powerful his stride can be. I asked him just a little bit in the final furlong and he continued to get faster. He’s a great horse and has shown his talent all year long. It will be a fun rest of the year.”

Bill Mott (trainer, Olympiad, winner) – “I thought it was a very game win this afternoon. There were some nice horses in this field and I thought he did things rather easily. It was really nice to see him win like that. We’ve always thought about running him in the (Aug. 6) Whitney (GI) so I think that would be the next possible target.”

Kenny McCarthy (assistant trainer, Olympiad, winner) – “Bill Mott likes to have horses on win streaks, like Cigar. This horse has started one of his own and he’s been such a pleasure every time he’s run in our care in Kentucky. The whole team did a great job to get him back here and it’s very special to win the Stephen Foster again. He has such a big stride and it’s so powerful in the late stages of his races.”

Luis Saez, (jockey, Americanrevolution, runner-up) – “He tried so hard this afternoon. The winner was simply the best but he put in a run in multiple areas of the race. He just couldn’t quite match strides with Olympiad.”

Joel Rosario (jockey, Proxy, third) – “In every start he tries so hard. Today was the first time I was on him and he did just that. He kept running hard all race and I’m proud of the effort he gave me.”

Florent Geroux (jockey, Mandaloun, fourth) – “It was disappointing. We were expecting a big effort today. He never quite grabbed the bit around the turn.”

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FLEUR DE LIS QUOTES

Florent Geroux. (jockey, Shedaresthedevil, winner) – “We sat in a perfect position the entire way around the track. Inside the eighth pole she started to find her best stride and drew away late. She’s back.”

Brad Cox (trainer, Shedaresthedevil, winner) – “We’re really proud of the race she ran today. We’ve targeted this race for a long time. She loves it here at Churchill Downs and Florent gave her a perfect ride. It was a tough field but I had confidence in her when I saw her position going around the turn that she’d have enough left to chase down (Super Quick).”

Norm Casse (trainer, Super Quick, runner-up) – “We’re really proud of her effort today. I think she’s just getting started. This was a really talented field of fillies and mares and she showed she can compete with the best of them.”

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KELLY’S LANDING QUOTES

Joel Rosario (jockey, Aloha West, winner) – “I had to ride him a little bit up into the pace today to keep his position. I think he got his confidence back today. He’s a very talented horse and showed his class today.”

Wayne Catalano (trainer, Aloha West, winner) – “We’re glad he got his feet back underneath him today. He ran into some stiff competition in his last two starts and he was coming off the layoff. Our goal is to get him back to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI). Today, we started our way back by getting his confidence back. Joel (Rosario) had to ask him a little bit early in the race just to keep his position since he was inside of horses.”

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AMERICAN DERBY QUOTES

Brian Hernandez Jr. (jockey, Rattle N Roll, winner) – “He’s a really nice horse and showed that today. Kenny (McPeek), I think, wanted to give him a confidence booster two starts ago and he was just second best that day but I think it worked because he ran a credible third last time (in the Matt Winn) and ran hard today.”

Kenny McPeek (trainer, Rattle N Roll, winner) – “It wasn’t 10 minutes after the announcement was made this race was going to be run on dirt that Mike (Mackin) called me and asked if we could supplement him to this field. I thought it was good idea. We didn’t even breeze him between races, just galloped him. He didn’t have to face the likes of Cyberknife or Howling Time today. I wouldn’t say he’s at the top of the 3-year-old class but he isn’t chopped liver either.”

Florent Geroux (jockey, Kuchar, runner-up) – “He ran a really hard race. We were just second best today.”

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TEPIN QUOTES

Tyler Gaffalione (jockey, Wicked Halo, winner) – “She was very professional today and handled things very well out on the track. We sat a perfect trip just off of the early pace and turning for home she was able to separate from the other fillies.”

Steve Asmussen (trainer, Wicked Halo, winner) – “We were a little aggressive with her as a 2-year-old to get (sire) Gun Runner off to a fast start. Today she ran the longest race of her career at a mile and handled everything beautifully. She won very professionally and is a very solid filly. We are fortunate to have her.”

Olympiad
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