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Stephen Foster Handicap Preview

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 6/11/2014 11:00:52 PM

About the Race and Track

The Stephen Foster was inaugurated in 1982 and Vodika Collins won the first two editions of this race.

Some stellar racers like Awesome Again, Victory Gallop, Perfect Drift, Saint Liam and Curlin have found themselves in the winner’s circle after the 9-furlongs of this event and last year Fort Larned was coming off a 5th in the Oaklawn Handicap before going wire-to-wire in this race with a winning 115 Beyer Speed Figure.

The $500,000-added Grade 1 Foster has enticed a classy group of older runners.

A Longshot With Some Value: Mylute

This colt broke his maiden for rider James Graham and he is back in the saddle. He comes here fresh, showed he belongs with his third in the Preakness last year and the price should be right.

The Pick: Will Take Charge

Long River has been sidelined since April but is proven fresh. He has entered 4 Graded races in his career, never a Grade 1, and the best he could do was 2 nd when beaten a neck in a 6-horse field.

Prayer for Relief has had a nice career and has won over $1.6 million but he has blanked this year and the last win was in a $74,000 stakes at Fair Grounds.

Revolutionary has won the Pimlico Special and was third in Orb’s Kentucky Derby last year. He came from 30 lengths back last time to win in Maryland but he has archrival Will Take Charge to deal with among others.

Jaguar Paw peaked last year winning an $88,000 stakes at Belmont when he got away with moderate splits. This race is a whole new kind of animal.

Departing has drilled fast since winning a comeback race here in April. He has a penchant for finding the wire as he has won 7 of his 10 starts and he has enough positional speed to get first run on the deep closers today.

Moonshine Mullin is looking for lightning to strike twice as he is fresh from upsetting Will Take Charge in the Alysheba. He was has 4 times since being claimed for $40,000, brings speed to the party but doesn’t need the lead to succeed.

Golden Ticket has nearly twice as many slices as win. And that makes him a tough on top only ticket to consider. He did run second in this very race last year but never really threatened the winner when beaten by over 6 lengths. He is far too sharp now not to take seriously.

Will Take Charge has trained sharply since the dull effort last time. He has won 3 times at this distance and has never been out of the exacta at 9 furlongs. The back class is there in spades and he was flattered by Revolutionary’s victory.

Mylute has not yet found his best stride. He won his 2014 debut in a much softer spot and in his best moment was 2nd beaten a neck in a Grade 2 last year. One of the best things he has going for him is his clever trainer Tom Amoss.

Will Take Charge’s last race was just too poor to believe. Beaten a nose in the Breeders’ Cup Classic last year, he has rebounded from poor efforts before and if he brings his A game and the ability to post a 114 Beyer Speed Figure, the rest could be running for minor prizes.



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