A total of seven stakes races, including a trio of Grade 3 events, will be on tap Saturday and next Sunday from Churchill Downs. Saturday’s Stephen Foster Preview Day will have six stakes that are all stepping stones to races on the July 2 card.
The $200,000 Blame Stakes, run at 1 1/16 miles, is a local prep for the $750,000 Stephen Foster (G2) – a “Win and You’re In” event for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 5 at Keeneland. The $200,000 Shawnee Stakes, run at 1 1/16 miles, is the Blame’s filly and mare counterpart to give horses a prep for the $350,000 Fleur de Lis (G2).
Sunday’s program will be headlined by the $200,000 Old Forester Mint Julep (G3) for fillies and mares 4-year-old and up, going 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Here are the current probable entrants, according to Churchill Downs Assistant Racing Secretary and Stakes Coordinator Dan Bork:
$200,000 Arlington (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on turf for 4-year-olds and up: Admission Office (Brian Lynch); Floriform (Bill Mott); Gray’s Fable (Brian Lynch) and Like the King (Mark Casse).
$200,000 Regret (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on turf for 3-year-old fillies: Beside Herself (Todd Pletcher); Candy Raid (Keith Desormeaux); McKulick (GB) (Chad Brown); Skims (GB) (Shug McGaughey) and Walkathon (Ian Wilkes).
$200,000 Blame at 1 1/16 miles for 4-year-olds and up: Dynamic One (Todd Pletcher); Intrepid Heart (Joe Sharp); Militarist (Carlo Vaccarezza); Scalding (Shug McGaughey) and Title Ready (Dallas Stewart).
$200,000 Shawnee at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and up: Army Wife (Mike Maker); Ava’s Grace (Robertino Diodoro); Crazy Beautiful (Kenny McPeek) and Powder River (Norm Casse).
$200,000 Aristides at six furlongs for 4-year-olds and up: Bango (Greg Foley); Bob’s Edge (Larry Jones); Kneedeepinsnow (Matt Shirer); Long Range Toddy (Dallas Stewart); Miles Ahead (Paul McGee); Necker Island (Chris Hartman); Pyron (Al Stall Jr.) and Top Gunner (John Ortiz).
$200,000 Audubon at 1 1/8 miles on turf for 3-year-olds: Grand Sonata (Todd Pletcher); James Jones (Chad Brown); Speaking Scout (Graham Motion); Summer Anthem (Mike Maker); Tallahatchiebridge (Saffie Joseph Jr.); Tiz the Bomb (Kenny McPeek); and Trending (Shug McGaughey).
$200,000 Mint Julep (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on turf for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and up: Dalika (GER) (Al Stall Jr.); Gam’s Mission (Cherie DeVaux); Hendy Woods (Mark Casse); Keeper of Time (IRE) (Brendan Walsh) and Lake Lucerne (Brendan Walsh).
Entries for Saturday’s card will be drawn Wednesday, and Sunday’s card will be drawn Thursday.