Stephen Foster Undercard Stakes Advances

December 10, 2019


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, June 3, 2015) – Florida invader Sheer Drama and California-based Grade I winner My Sweet Addiction will find a strong group of Churchill Downs-based stars awaiting them in the starting gate Saturday evening for the 40th running of the $200,000 Fleur De Lis Handicap Presented by Thorntons (Grade II), part of the “Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In Distaff Division” Challenge and one of four stakes events offered during the “Downs After Dark” celebration highlighted by the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap and an on-track appearance by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

The Fleur De Lis, a 1 1/8-mile race on the main track for fillies and mares ages 3 and up, is one of four stakes races on the “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka” program that is set to begin with the first of 11 races at 6 p.m. (all times EDT). American Pharoah is scheduled to parade before fans prior to the sixth race. Following that race the Triple Crown winner’s team of owner-breeder Ahmed Zayat, trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza will be presented with their engraved Kentucky Derby winner’s trophies.

For the first time, the Fleur De Lis is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In Distaff Division” Challenge and the winner of Saturday’s race will earn a guaranteed spot in the starting gate for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI) on Friday, Oct. 30 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. The winner also will receive a travel stipend for the journey to Keeneland.

The Fleur De Lis and the Stephen Foster Handicap will be part of the NBCSN national telecast of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series” on Saturday evening from 8-10 p.m.

A field of nine fillies and mares was entered for the Fleur De Lis and Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia installed trainer David Fawkes’ Sheer Drama and My Sweet Addiction, trained by Marty Jones and the only Grade I stakes winner in the group, as the top choices in the morning line.

Harold Queen’s homebred Sheer Drama is the morning line favorite at 2-1 following a runner-up finish to the now-retired Molly Morgan in the $300,000 La Troienne (GI) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day. Prior to that strong outing the Florida-bred mare was an easy winner over House Rules and Molly Morgan in the Grade II Royal Delta and runner-up to House Rules in the Rampart (GIII), both of which were run at Gulfstream Park.

A half-sister to Queen’s homebred Big Drama, who scored the biggest win of his career in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI) at Churchill Downs, Sheer Drama has done her best running as a 5-year-old and will break from post seven under regular jockey Joe Bravo. She has a record of 4-7-1 in 15 races with earnings of $430,440. Sheer Drama is 1-3-0 in her four races in 2015 and has been assigned of 120 pounds.

Pamela Ziebarth’s My Sweet Addiction, a 5-year-old homebred daughter of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Tiznow, collected the first stakes victory of her career in her front-running one-length triumph in Santa Anita’s $300,000 Vanity (GI) on May 9. The breakthrough victory under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith was her second consecutive win and it improved her career record to 4-2-3 in 19 starts and lifted her earnings to $328,106.

Smith will travel from his Southern California base to ride My Sweet Addiction, who is the 5-2 second choice in Battaglia’s morning line odds. She will carry high weight of 121 pounds and breaks from post eight in the Fleur De Lis.

Members of the home team at Churchill Downs include several fillies and mares who competed in the La Troienne, including Pin Oak Stable’s Gold Medal Dancer, who finished a close third in that race and defeated reigning 3-year-old filly champion Untapable in the Azeri (GII) at Oaklawn Park for trainer Donnie Von Hemel; James B Tafel LLC’s Tiz Windy, winner of the 2014 Indiana Oaks (GII) at Indiana Grand and a close fourth in the La Troienne for Hall of Fame trainer Carl Nafzger; and G. Watts Humphrey’s Frivolous, who finished a disappointing last of nine in the La Troienne but upset Breeders’ Cup Distaff runner-up Don’t Tell Sophia in Churchill Downs’ Falls City Handicap (GII) in November.

Others hoping to end up in the G.H. Mumm Winner’s Circle following the Fleur De Lis include America, owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay and the winner of Aqueduct’s $100,000 Affectionately at Aqueduct for Hall of Famer trainer and all-time Churchill Downs win leader Bill Mott; Thomas Van Meter II and Brad Grady’s Pearl Turn, fourth to Untapable in Oaklawn’s Grade I Apple Blossom; and D.P. Racing’s Yahilwa, winner of Arlington Park’s Sixty Sails (GIII) and runner-up to Stopchargingmaria in the DuPont Distaff (GIII) at Pimlico.

The field for the Fleur De Lis from the rail out (with jockey, weight and morning line odds): America (Joel Rosario, 116, 10-1), Tiz Windy (Julien Leparoux, 116, 8-1), Pearl Turn (Jesus Castanon, 115, 15-1), Yahilwa (James Graham, 117, 15-1), Glorys Last Chance (Ricardo Santana Jr., 113, 30-1), Frivolous (Jon Court, 116, 20-1), Sheer Drama (Bravo, 120, 2-1), My Sweet Addiction (Smith, 121, 5-2) and Gold Medal Dancer (Luis Quinonez, 118, 3-1).


Juddmonte Farms’ Fame and Power and Ackerley Brothers Farm’s Bold Conquest, who ran one-two in the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico, will meet again Saturday in the 18th running of the $100,000 Matt Winn (GIII), a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds.

Fame and Power broke his maiden at Santa Anita in March going seven furlongs before running third behind Lael Stables’ Divining Rod and Regis Racing’s Donworth in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (GIII) at Keeneland on April 11. The son of First Defence returned emphatically a month later to easily beat Bold Conquest by three lengths in the Sir Barton with Donworth a nose back in third.

Fame and Power’s Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert looks to extend his record number of victories in the Matt Winn to five. He won the race (formerly known as the Northern Dancer from its inaugural running in 1998 through 2011) with Shot of Gold (1998), Forestry (1999), Danthebluegrassman (2002) and Code West (2012).

Victor Espinoza will take the reins on Fame and Power, who boasts a record of 7-2-2-1—$145,610. He’ll break from post five in the field of eight and was made the 6-5 morning line favorite by oddsmaker Mike Battaglia.

Bold Conquest was on the Derby trail earlier in the year having run against American Pharoah in the Rebel Stakes (GII) and Arkansas Derby (GI) at Oaklawn Park. The son of Curlin ran third and fourth, respectively, behind the eventual Triple Crown winner in those two races prior to his runner-up effort behind Fame and Power. His only other start at Churchill Downs was a second behind stablemate Lucky Player in the Iroquois (GIII) last September. Trainer Steve Asmussen has won the Matt Winn three times: Compendium (2001), Pyro (2008) and Tapiture (2014).

Also entered to compete in the Matt Winn is Holy Cow Stables’ Henry Jones, fourth in the Sir Barton for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The son of Temple City broke his maiden at Churchill Downs last September going seven furlongs.

The only other horse in the field with a victory over the Churchill Downs main track is Six Column Stables’, Randall Bloch, John Seiler, and David Hall’s Island Town who is coming off of a victory in a seven-furlong allowance optional claiming event on Kentucky Derby Day. Last October, the son of Hard Spun broke his maiden at Churchill beating Danzig Moon, who was fifth in this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).

Rounding out the Matt Winn are Godolphin Racing’s Alabaster; coming off a fourth-place finish in an allowance race at Arlington International last week, Harlow Stables’ Phenomenal Phoenix, third last time out in the Illinois Derby (GIII) at Hawthorne on April 18 and will be making his first start for his owners and new trainer Ron Moquett, and Mellon Patch, Inc.’s Private Prospect who was a well-beaten sixth last time out in the Illinois Derby (GIII) on April 18 for trainer Michael Campbell.

The Matt Winn field from the rail out (with jockey and morning line odds): Phenomenal Phoenix (Joel Rosario, 8-1); Island Town (Julien Leparoux, 6-1); Nileator (Javier Castellano, 8-1); Private Prospect (Channing Hill, 20-1); Fame and Power (Espinoza, 6-5); Henry Jones (Mike Smith, 12-1); Bold Conquest (Ricardo Santana Jr., 5-2); and Alabaster (James Graham, 15-1).

The Matt Winn is scheduled as Race 9 at 10:13 p.m. on Churchill Downs’ 11-race “Downs After Dark” card.


Pin Oak Stables’ Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) winner Don’t Leave Me landed the rail and was made a lukewarm 3-1 morning line favorite in a field of seven 3-year-old fillies entered for Saturday night’s 46th running of the $100,000 Regret (GIII) at 1 1/8 miles on Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course.

The Canadian-based invader conditioned by Malcolm Pierce has won three of five starts and $179,855 with a three-quarter length triumph in March’s Bourbonette at Turfway Park as her career topper. Last time out, the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid ran second in the Selene (GIII) over Polytrack at Woodbine behind multiple graded stakes winner Ol’ Fashion Gal. This will be the first time the 3-year-old filly will be stretching out to 1 1/8 miles.

Three Chimneys Farm’s Lady Zuzu is looking for her first victory since breaking her maiden at Keeneland last October as a 2-year-old. The daughter of Dynaformer has not found the winner’s circle in four starts this year, with the first two resulting in sixth-place efforts at Santa Anita when she raced for trainer Paulo Lobo. Since returning to trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ barn, she has finished third twice in the Edgewood (GIII) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day and in the Hilltop at Pimlico on the Black-Eyed Susan undercard. Lukas won the Regret 23 years ago with Tiney Toast in 1992.

Calumet Farm’s Return to Grace, campaigned by trainer Mark Casse, is the only filly in the field with a victory over the Matt Winn Turf Course and at the distance of 1 1/8 miles. The 3-year-old daughter of English Channel broke her maiden on the third attempt last time out at Churchill Downs on May 23.

The Regret field from the rail out (with jockey and morning line odds): Don’t Leave Me (Javier Castellano, 3-1); Return to Grace (Corey Lanerie, 7-2); Lady Zuzu (Robby Albarado, 7-2); America Mon Amie (Rosemary Homeister Jr., 10-1); Cristina’s Journey (Miguel Mena, 8-1); Prado’s Sweet Ride (Florent Geroux, 4-1); and Urtheoneeyelove (Joel Rosario, 5-1).

The Regret goes as Race 6 at 8:28 p.m. on Churchill Downs’ 11-race card for Saturday night.

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