Weekend Lineup: Churchill Closes Out Spring Meet With Pair Of Breeders’ Cup Challenge Races

Nine graded stakes will be contested in North America on Saturday. Churchill Downs closes its spring meeting with a card of seven stakes races featuring the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis for fillies and mares, led by Letruska, and Grade 2 Stephen Foster for older horses, headlined by Maxfield. Winners of both races earn automatic starting berths into the Grade 1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff and the Grade 1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, respectively.

Thistledown hosts the Grade 3 Ohio Derby for 3-year-olds, and Grade 1 Steeplechase action will take place outside Nashville with the Calvin Houghland Iroquois Stakes. Races are listed in chronological order (all times Eastern). Full previews, when available, can be found through the link for each race.

TVG will be broadcasting racing throughout the weekend from Monmouth Park and Gulfstream Park, and more. Fans can tune in on TVG, TVG2 and the Watch TVG app, which is available on Amazon Fire, Roku and connected Apple TV devices.

“America’s Day at the Races” will be broadcasting live on Saturday, June 26 on FS2 from 12:30-6:30 p.m., and on SNY from 5-6:30 p.m., from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs. On Sunday, June 27, America’s Day at the Races will be live on FS2 from 12:30-5:30 p.m., and on SNY from 5-5:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 26

2:45 p.m. ― $300,000 Grade 2 Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs on FS2

Five fillies and mares are challenging two-time Grade 1 winner Letruska in the Grade 2, $300,000 Fleur de Lis at 1 1/8 miles, “Win and You’re In” for the Grade 1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar. St. George Stable’s 5-year-old Letruska gained a national reputation after defeating Monomoy Girl, the reigning older female dirt champion, in Oaklawn’s Grade 1 Apple Blossom in April. She collared her second Grade 1 by taking the Ogden Phipps at Belmont on June 5, and secured an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Trained by Fausto Gutierrez, Letruska will break from post 6 under Jose Ortiz. Walking Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farms’ 4-year-old Envoutante, trained by Ken McPeek, finished just a length behind Shedaresthedevil in the Grade 1 La Troienne on April 30, came back and won the listed Shawnee Stakes over the Churchill strip on May 29. Brian Hernandez Jr. has the call from post 4. Robert and Lawana Low’s 4-year-old Spice Is Nice won the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Match Series Stakes on May 14 for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. She will break from post 5 under Hall of Famer John Velazquez.

Entries: https://www.equibase.com/static/entry/CD062621USA5-EQB.html

4:30 p.m. – $100,000 Grade 3 Trillium Stakes at Woodbine on TVG

Live Oak Plantation’s Souper Escape is the defending champion and 2-1 morning line favorite in an eight-horse field of fillies and mares for the Grade 3 Trillium Stakes going 1 1/16 miles on Woodbine’s all-weather track. A Florida homebred by Medaglia d’Oro, trained by Michael Trombetta, Souper Escape, making her 2021 debut, has won six races. She took the Grade 3 Seaway at Woodbine last August following his frontrunning 4 ½-length win in the Trillium. Luis Contreras has the mount from post 2. Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse has entered three runners in Heavenly Curlin, Skygaze and Crystal Glacier. Heavenly Curlin, ridden by Emma-Jane Wilson from post 8, is two for two at Woodbine, including last year’s Grade 3 Maple Leaf Stakes.

Entries: https://www.equibase.com/static/entry/WO062621CAN7-EQB.html

4:40 p.m.―$250,000 Grade 2 Mother Goose at Belmont Park on FS2 and SNY

A 9 ¾-length romp in just her second start has made Three Chimneys Farm’s Always Carina the even-money morning line favorite for the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont. Trained by Chad Brown, Always Carina broke her maiden at Aqueduct in March and then dominated an optional allowance claiming race at 1 mile on May 10. The bay daughter of Malibu Moon will be ridden from post 2 by Flavien Prat. Stonestreet Stables’ Clairiere, trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden from post 3 by Irad Ortiz Jr., won the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra at the Fair Grounds in February, and will try to get back into the winner’s circle after a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks and a fourth in the Grade 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks. Gary Barber’s Make Mischief has won three of six this year and is looking to break through with her first stakes win following a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Acorn on June 5 at Belmont.

Entries: https://www.equibase.com/static/entry/BEL062621USA8-EQB.html

4:55 p.m. ― $150,000 Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs on FS2

A field of 11, including one filly, is set for North America’s first graded stakes race of the year for 2-year-olds in the 120th Bashford Manor Stakes, a Grade 3 event run at 6 furlongs at Churchill Downs. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has won the Bashford Manor a record six times. On Saturday, he sends out Winchell Thoroughbreds Red Run, a chestnut son Gun Runner, who Asmussen trained to the 2017 Horse of the Year title. On May 9 at Churchill, Red Run took the lead in the stretch of a 5-furlong maiden race and won by 1 ¾ lengths. Ricardo Santana Jr. will ride, breaking from post 9. Asmussen has also entered Willis Horton Racing’s Canadian-bred Lansdowne, who on May 22 went to the front early in a 5-furlongs maiden race at Churchill and won by 1 ½ lengths. The gray/roan son of Grade 1 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver will be ridden by Jon Court from post 2. Another gray entered is Robert Masterson’s Glacial, a son of Frosted, trained by Norm Casse, who broke his maiden May 29 on debut by 2 ½ lengths in a 5 ½-furlong race at Churchill. Joe Talamo has the mount breaking from post 4. The lone filly is John, Ken and Ennis Dodsworth’s Shesgotattitude, a daughter of Tiznow, trained by John Ennis. Shesgotattitude broke her maiden against fillies on April 8 at Keeneland and then finished fourth against males in the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes at Churchill on April 28. James Graham will ride from post 11.

Entries: https://www.equibase.com/static/entry/CD062621USA9-EQB.html

5:04 p.m. ―$500,000 Grade 3 Ohio Derby at Thistledown on TVG

A wide-open field of 11 3-year-olds has been entered for the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Ohio Derby at Thistledown, with the Todd Pletcher-trained Promise Keeper the 7-2 morning line favorite. Owned by Woodford Thoroughbreds, WinStar Farm and Rock Ridge Racing, Promise Keeper, a son of Constitution, has won three of five starts, including his last out in the Grade 3 Peter Pan at Belmont Park on May 8. Luis Saez has the mount from post 1. Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm’s King Fury is making his first start since winning Keeneland’s Grade 3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes by 2 ¾ lengths at 18-1 on April 10. The chestnut son of Curlin, trained by Kenny McPeek, will be ridden by Corey Lanerie from post 4. Cypress Creek Equine, Arnold Bennewith and Spendthrift Farm‘s Keepmeinmind, trained by Robert Diodoro, won last year’s Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. This year, the son of the late Laoban finished seventh in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve and fourth in the Grade 1 Preakness. David Cohen has the mount from post 8. Godolphin’s Proxy, trained by Mike Stidham, finished second in the Grade 2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds in March. Joe Bravo will ride the son of Tapit from post 9.

Entries: https://www.equibase.com/static/entry/TDN062621USA9-EQB.html

5:26 p.m. ― $300,000 Grade 2 Wise Dan Stakes at Churchill Downs on FS2

Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable’s 5-year-old New York-bred Somelikeithotbrown, a two-time Grade 2 winner, and Juddmonte’s Set Piece (GB), lead a 10-horse field in the Grade 2, $300,000 Wise Dan Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the Churchill turf course. Trained by Mike Maker and ridden from post 3 by Jose Ortiz, Somelikeithotbrown scored a 1-length victory in the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Dinner Party Stakes at Pimlico on May 15. The bay son of Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown has won seven races, including last year’s Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga. The Brad Cox-trained 5-year-old gelding Set Piece has taken a liking to the Churchill turf course this spring with black type wins in the Opening Verse on April 29 and the Douglas Park on May 29. Florent Geroux has the mount from post 1. Maker has also entered Three Diamonds Farm’s Maryland-bred 4-year-old Field Pass, fourth in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland on April 9, but trailed a field of eight in the Grade 1 Man o’ War at Belmont on May 8. Ricardo Santana Jr. rides from post 8. John Oxley and My Meadowview Farm’s 6-year-old Ride a Comet won the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park in January and was second in the Maker’s Mark Mile. A bay son of Candy Ride (ARG), Tyler Gaffalione has the mount on Ride a Comet from post 7.

Entries: https://www.equibase.com/static/entry/CD062621USA10-EQB.html

5:30 p.m. ― $100,000 Grade 1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Stakes at Percy Warner Park on NSA.com

Riding an eight-race winning streak, Bruton Street’s 7-year-old gelding Snap Decision leads a seven-horse field of Steeplechase runners in the 80th running of the Grade 1, 2 ¾-mile Calvin Houghland Iroquois Stakes over hurdles at Percy Warner Park outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Snap Decision, trained by Jack Fisher and ridden Graham Watters, romped by 9 ½ lengths in the Grade 2 Temple Gwathmey Stakes at Middleburg, Virginia, in his seasonal debut, defeating Irvin Naylor’s Amschel (GB), Hudson River Farm’s Galway Kid (IRE), and Sonny Via’s Footpad (FR), all of whom are entered in the Iroquois. Footpad, also trained by Fisher, and ridden by Sean McDermott, has won 11 of 27 races and more than $900,000. Galway Kid is exiting a hard-fought neck victory in the Grade 3 David Semmes Memorial hurdle stakes (Grade 3) at the Virginia Gold Cup Races, in which Naylor’s 8-year-old gelding Bedrock finished third.

Entries: https://www.equibase.com/static/entry/PW062621USA7-EQB.html

5:59 p.m. – $600,000 Grade 2 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs on FS2

Godolphin’s 4-year-old Maxfield, a winner in six of seven starts, leads nine horses entered in the $600,000 Grade 2 Stephen Foster going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs. Returning twice from setbacks over the course of two years in which he won his first six starts ― including victories in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and the Grade 3 Mineshaft Stakes ― Maxfield suffered his first defeat when finishing third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap in March. However, the dark bay son of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense rebounded on April 30 with a sharp 3 ¼-length victory in Churchill’s Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes. Jose Ortiz will ride Maxfield from post 8. Tom Durant’s 7-year-old gelding Silver Dust, has won seven races for trainer Bret Calhoun, including the April 10 Grade 2 Ben Ali at Keeneland. Adam Beschizza has the mount from post 4. The Estate of James J. Coleman Jr.’s Virginia-bred Chess Chief, third in the Alysheba Stakes, won the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic Stakes at the Fair Grounds in March. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Chess Chief will be ridden by John Velazquez from post 1. The Stephen Foster winner will gain an automatic berth into the Grade 1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar.

Entries: https://www.equibase.com/static/entry/CD062621USA11-EQB.html

7:13 p.m. ― $100,000 Grade 3 Chicago Stakes at Arlington Park on TVG

Full of Fun Racing and Madaket Stables’ Dreamalildreamofyou leads 11 fillies and mares entered in Arlington’s 7-furlong Grade 3 Chicago Stakes. A 4-year-old daughter of Commissioner, trained by Brad Cox, Dreamalildramofyou has won four of nine starts, and was recently second in the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Allaire DuPont Distaff Match Series Stakes at Pimlico on May 14. Fernando De La Cruz rides from post 11. Michael and Katherine Ball’s Club Car, trained by Ben Colebrook, won an optional allowance claiming race at Keeneland on April 11 and then finished third in Pimlico’s listed 6-furlong Skipat Stakes on May 15. Club Car will be ridden by Chris Emigh from post 6.

Entries: https://www.equibase.com/static/entry/AP062621USA8-EQB.html

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