First Look: Stephen Foster card plus 4 other graded stakes

First Look: Stephen Foster card plus 4 other graded stakes
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Closing day at Churchill Downs brings four graded stakes on Saturday, including Maxfield returning in the Stephen Foster and Letruska in the Fleur de Lis.

Graded stakes also are on the calendar at Belmont Park, Arlington Park, Thistledown and Woodbine. And Art Collector makes his first start of the year in the listed Kelly's Landing Friday against an interesting field at Churchill Downs.

Here is an early look at the likely fields.

Stephen Foster (G2), Churchill Downs, 1 1/8 miles, 4-year-olds and up

Maxfield returns to the track where he picked up three of his six career wins, including a score last out in the Alysheba (G2) on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. That race was his first start since his lone loss, in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) in March. Silver Dust's win in the Ben Ali (G3) last out was his second start since he finished 10th in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Vault's Ruffian Stakes (G2) win followed an allowance win at Oaklawn in March. The winner of this race earns an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

2021 Stephen Foster (G2)

Fleur de Lis (G2), Churchill Downs, 1 1/8 miles, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up

This race got a lot more interesting when word came Sunday that the field will include Letruska, the Mexican sensation who has won two straight G1s plus a close second in the Azeri (G2). Point of Honor would have her first start since a sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. She has moved to Shug McGaughey's care from George Weaver. The winner of this race earns an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

2021 Fleur de Lis (G2)

Wise Dan (G2), Churchill Downs, 1 1/16 miles (turf), 4-year-olds and up

Somelikeithotbrown's win in the Dinner Party (G2) on the Preakness undercard was his first score in three tries since winning the Mohawk last October. Set Piece returns to graded-stakes company after wins in the black-type Opening Verse and Douglas Park overnight stakes here.

2021 Wise Dan (G2)

Bashford Manor (G3), Churchill Downs, 6 furlongs, 2-year-olds

Kavod's runner-up effort in the Tremont was his first start since breaking his maiden in April. Lansdowne led gate to wire in breaking his maiden on first try here on May 22.

2021 Bashford Manor (G3)

Mother Goose (G2), Belmont Park, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-old

Rachel Alexandra (G2) winner Clairiere makes her first start since finishing fourth in the Kentucky Oaks. Zaajel is looking for her first win since the Forward Gal (G3) in January. Always Carina broke her maiden on first try in April and came back to win an allowance here by 9 3/4 lengths on May 20.

2021 Mother Goose (G2)

*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the Top Active Horses in training.

Ohio Derby (G3), Thistledown, 1 1/8 miles, 3-year-olds

Proxy will have Joe Bravo aboard as he looks for his first graded-stakes win. King Fury has won his only start of the year, the Lexington (G3) in April. Competition thinned a bit when O Besos' connections decided not to run here. And Hozier will make his first start for Rodolphe Brisset after being switched from Bob Baffert's barn.

2021 Ohio Derby (G3)

Chicago Stakes (G3), Arlington Park, 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up

Our Bay B Ruth returns to graded-stakes company after trying two allowance races since finishing ninth in the Marshua's River (G3). Amazima tries her first graded stakes after a third-place finish in allowance race in April.

2021 Chicago Handicap (G3)

Probable entries were not available for the Trillium (G3), which will be run at Woodbine at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares 4 years old and up.

Kelly's Landing (listed), Churchill Downs, 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up

This race picked up interest with the entry of Art Collector in his 2021 debut. He was an early favorite for last year's Kentucky Derby after winning the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) but was scratched after developing a foot problem. Long Range Toddy is looking for his first win since 2019; he was beaten by a half-length in the Aristides on May 29.

2021 Kelly's Landing (LS)

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