Friday, June 17, 2016

Handicapper's Corner: Stephen Foster Handicap (G1)

Will Eagles Soar in the Stephen Foster?

By: John Caro

🎵Way down upon the Sewanee River….🎵

South Florida ThoroFan member John Caro takes a shot at beating the even money favorite in Churchill Downs' Grade One event for older horses.

Stephen Foster Handicap Grade I $500K One and One Eighth Miles

#3 Effinex 1-1 – This five year old has an excellent record with three wins and a second at the distance. And it is always wise to look at his past competition, American Pharaoh, Hoppertunity, Melatonin, and the pace of the races. He likes to press the pace and he has the speed to duel with the best. His ITM record (8 for 9) has to be respected. If he can keep that speed and closing pace after a 60 day break he is my top pick. Two factors concern me; after a similar training break he didn’t come back to form for two races and a jockey change. Yes it is Gary Stevens and I have every confidence that he will do his best but, it’s a factor. I will play against him because of the break. Second or third.

#1 International Star 6-1– He loves The Fairgrounds and his only race at CD was against two others in this race. It didn’t go well for him then. His one run style last out didn’t do much to encourage me to place him in the money. The one factor that inspires is the jockey trainer combo. Geroux is wicked good when his patience doesn’t distract him. I’ll use him in the bottom of the tri-supers. 

#2 Bradester 5-1 – I love him as a competitor at a mile. Not here. His speedy attack at the other tracks have been effective but at this distance that may not work well given his competition in today’s outing. He is likely the pace setter (and I’m hoping that’s the case) with Are You Kidding Me. Which should set up a great finish for those who can stay off the pace a little and finish stronger. Bottom of the Super.

#4 Majestic Harbor 5-1 – Age has not deterred his ability to win. This distance is a question for me. One win in nine attempts is not encouraging. But we do have Corey aboard and this is his special place and loves a route to work with. Lanerie has an uncanny knack for feeling the pace and closing at the right moment to win or lose by a head. I like him second or third for this ride.

#5 El Kabeir 12-1 – Took a long break then back in training and as happens his return to races was a flop. This is his second back and his recent training indicates a guy ready for action. I hope that is the case at a price. His three year old season was pretty good and I expect him to improve here. Second or third.

#6 Are You Kidding Me 10-1 – Exactly… are you kidding me??? No. His last out was on artificial and stunning with his speed. He is likely part of a quick pace but a toss for the win for me. And where is A. Garcia? Maybe in the bottom of the super.

#7 Eagle 6-1 – He is due for a win and I like his ability to stay off the pace. He has been first of second in all but one of his last eight races and was forth without his regular rider. Brian is up for this race and he knows his home track. If Eagle can get a clean trip in the third or fourth position, I think he may win and at least be second. I will use him as my Key for the betting.

Let’s place our bets….. Good luck to all.
$3 Trifecta - 7 with 3, 4 with all   $30 👌

$.50 Superfecta  – 3, 4 with 7, with all, with all = $20. This is a fun bet but not required today. Use the extra $20 for the exacta below if the criteria is met….

If Effinex is 8-5 or better at post time – 

$24 Exacta – 3 with 4, 7  $48 👍👍

If Effinex is 8-5 or better and the 3 & 4 are 3-1 to 5-1 the exacta payout should be $480 at 3-1 and $720 at 5-1. If you bet a straight win on Effinex with the $48 you’d get back about $125.  I use the Exacta when betting a “chalker”.


  1. Don't know how it happened in the writing, maybe self correction in Word but the Trifecta above should read. 7 w 3,4 w all.
    John Caro

  2. Wow... I was wrong about the pace setter. Ready and willing. And the Pick 4 is going to be big!