LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, May 20, 2023) – Foreign Relations won Saturday’s 86th running of the $222,300 Louisville Stakes (Grade III) at Churchill Downs by 1 ½ lengths over 7-2 favorite Limited Liability in 2:32.47 for the 1 ½-mile marathon over the Matt Winn Turf Course, which was rated “good” after early morning showers.
Ridden by Declan Cannon, Foreign Relations tracked the pacesetters Time for Trouble and English Conqueror, who led the field of 10 older horses through dawdling splits of :25.58, :52.48, 1:19.33, 1:45.31 and 2:09.51. Around the final turn, Foreign Relations ranged into contention with a three-wide move, poked his head in front before the final furlong and kicked home strongly for the win.
Conor Murphy trained the winner for Cassandra Orpen’s Double O Racing.
The win was worth $132,800 and improved Foreign Relations’ career earnings to $197,021 with a record of 2-1-1 in seven starts. It was his first career stakes victory. After spending the winter at Turfway Park, he most recently crossed the finish line first in a first level allowance at Keeneland on April 19 but was disqualified to the last by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stewards for an incident in upper stretch.
Foreign Relations returned $16.80, $7.92 and $5.70 as the 7-1 sixth betting choice. Limited Liability, under James Graham, paid $4.90 and $3.78. English Conqueror, ridden by Julien Leparoux, was another half-length back in third and paid $7.08 to show. Yamato was another neck back in fourth and was followed by Tiz the Bomb, Mount Rundle, Time for Trouble, Therapist, Another Mystery and Bay Street Money. Smokey Lee was scratched.
Foreign Relations is a 5-year-old gelded son of Karakontie (JPN) out of the Mr. Sidney mare Quest (GB), was bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds.
Racing at Churchill Downs continues Sunday with a nine-race card that begins at 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern).
Declan Cannon (jockey, Foreign Relations, winner) – “I sat a really good trip just off the early pace. Down the lane he really tried hard to the wire. I think Connor (Murphy) and his team found out what this horse likes doing best going long on the grass.”
Connor Murphy (trainer, Foreign Relations, winner) – “This horse can be a little bit quirky and I was thankful to get Declan on him because he knows him well. He’s worked him in the mornings and rode him in the past. We entered him in an allowance race but actually scratched to go in the Louisville. The allowance was going a little shorter than this race (1 3/16 miles). We broke his maiden at Turfway a couple starts back and knew his best distance would be a mile-and-a-half on the grass. He really ran well today and we’re very proud of his effort.”