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Ron the Greek in time in the Stephen Foster

A large, night-loving Churchill Downs crowd was rewarded with a thriller of a finish in the Grade 1, $437,200 Stephen Foster Handicap, as Ron the Greek rallied on the inside to edge heavily favored Wise Dan by a short head. 

Squeezed back early in a roughly run first quarter of a mile, Ron the Greek was content to sit well off solid early fractions set by the speedy Nates Mineshaft. As the leader led the field on a merry chase, it was Wise Dan who menaced first on the outside as the field turned for home, while the eventual winner mounted his challenge on the inside, under rider Jose Lezcano. It looked for a long while that neither challenge would be good enough though as Nates Mineshaft still had a few lengths on the field outside the eighth pole.

The lead would not last though. With Nates Mineshaft starting to tire, Wise Dan came fast on the outside, with Ron the Greek gobbling up ground on the rail. The two motored past Nates Mineshaft late and the decision was in doubt until the wire, before it became clear that Ron the Greek had got the best of the favorite in the last stride. Rogue Romance, who had a very tough trip, finished fourth, beaten only two lengths, and a 1 ¼ lengths behind 3rd place Nates Mineshaft.

Placing his name atop the older males based east of the Mississippi, it was the second major victory of the year for the son of Full Mandate after a big win in the Santa Anita Handicap back in March. The $262,932 winner’s share of the purse raised Ron the Greek’s lifetime earnings over $1.1 million, as the five-year-old secured his 7th win in 19 lifetime starts. Sent off as the 9-1 fifth choice in the stellar field of eight, the Bill Mott trainee returned $20.80 to his backers and completed the nine furlongs of the Foster in 1:50.51.

Speaking of Bill Mott, the Foster proved to be just one chapter of a huge evening, as his star four-year-old filly, Royal Delta routed a good field of older mares in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis. For comparisons sake, Royal Delta ran a full second faster than the boys while cruising to the wire the easiest kind of eight length winner in 1:49.49.
 

 

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Older Comments about Ron the Greek in time in the Stephen Foster...

As a matter of fact, we are thoroughly escaping and may never come back. LOL.
Not yet, but my daughter and I are going.
BC Tickets, Mary?
Looking forward to seeing him right in front of me at Santa Anita !
@ Mary Z- Your support for RTG is appreciated, he is so special. Watch for him again this fall.
That was a race that for me screamed "exotic." I took WD, boxed him up a few times with RTG and the #3 in the ex,tri. missed the tri though but I didn't make a valid attempt. To hit tri's and especially supers the ALL button is neccessary most time.
poolechop, LOL, that's how I "help" my favorites win--from my living room. I love your Dad's cool name ! Congratulations to your parents and the rest of the RTG team.
@Mary Z- i bet that screaming woman was my MOM! Shirley Hammer! LOL.
It was a great finish but the fillies ran faster in the race before. http://handicrapper.blogspot.com/
Though I was hoping that Dan's nose would be the one in front, it was an exciting race. Royal Delta made it look so effortless--argueably, the best horse in training.
Exciting finish, just hard to hear the call with some woman screaming during Ronnie's (RTG's) stretch run. Looked like he couldn't possibly beat Wise Dan. Hope to see RTG and RD in the BCC this year.
Hey! to you, Gabriel ... still cashing a ton of tickets?
Bill Mott gets the stable he deserves. Woohoo, I love when life works out fair!
A full second faster for Royal Delta and she was wrapped up for most of the stretch. Another superlative day for HOFer Bill Mott!

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