Gun Runner, Bird Song Lead Foster Field
By Margaret Ransom
Saturday’s $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs marks the last grade 1 of the rich spring meet at the Louisville oval, but it also represents one of the last true handicaps left in North America. This year a field of eight will race the nine furlongs, with all of them looking to gain entry to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) on Nov. 4 at Del Mar thanks to the race’s status as a “Win and You’re In” event, which guarantees the winner a spot in the gate for the $6 million feature on Racing’s Championship Day.
The Stephen Foster was first run in 1982 and named for the famed composter, who penned the historic song “My Old Kentucky Home”, which is played every year on the first Saturday in May as the Kentucky Derby (GI) horses make their way toward the starting gate.
The list of winners of the Foster is impressive and includes… (more)