June 10, 2015
Although it has only been around since 1982, the Grade I Foster Handicap has already proven itself to be one of the more important races in the Handicap division and as such, usually attracts the attention of the best when it comes to preparation for the SAR and SA Summer meetings. Vanlandingham became the first major winner in 1985, followed by Black Tie Affair in 1991 as part of his Horse Of The Year campaign, and since then, Awesome Again, Victory Gallop, Street Cry, Saint Liam, Curlin, Blame and Fort Larned have all taken down wins in this now $500.000 event. At HRP, it has never really garnered the attention of other races but nonetheless, some very good horses have won in including Thumbsy, Lone Winner, Bbff, Ghost Walker and Maruzensky, as well as the now eight-year-old No Trippin who is not back to defend his title. In his stead, a scratch reduced field of four is assembled, including the one-two finishers from Grade II OP Handicap and the third place finisher in the Grade II Alysheba, and each of those races is a key indicator as to the talent level assembled for this BC Classic Win-And-You’re-In.
1-Outward Bound (Five-year-old chestnut horse / Owner-Eastern Equine)
It took a while, including a $5.000 optional claimer at FL, but Outward Bound has finally proven himself to be a legitimate Grade I level competitor and now, gets a chance to break down that final barrier and score his first big victory, and become a $1000.000 earner as well. Four straight triple-digit speed ratings, placings in the Grade I Donn and Grade I SA Handicaps, and a rousing score in the OP Handicap make him a huge contender against this small field and whether he sets the pace or sits just off, he will be in serious contention to sprint home and score for his very patient owner.
Analysis-No need to look anywhere else
2-Duca Di Toscana (Four-year-old bay gelding / Owner-Nakamura Stables)
Duca Di Toscana has been forced to carry some massive weights in recent handicap events, including 123-pounds in the SA Handicap and 122-pounds in the OP Handicap, so not being the top weight will help his chances and he might be able to turn the tables and avenge his loss in the Clark over this course last year. A recent one-mile workout at BEL was lights off and he knows how to handle the distance so look for him to be closer than usual in this small field, which will give him aA chance to move forward earlier and make a good case for victory once again.
Analysis-Finally gets a decent weight to carry
4-Blown And Left (Four-year-old gray gelding / Owner-Sanny Village)
Purchased for $175.000 off a third in the Alysheba behind Grade I Met Mile winner Mister Major, Blown and Left has been facing some tough customers with only minor success recently and that will continue on Saturday with some heavy hitters to his inside looking more favourable. He gets a minor break in weights for this event and that can spell the difference between a big piece and a little piece but he does not have a published workout since being bought and while that is normal for his owner, it is a cause of concern when choosing a Grade I winner.
Analysis-Needs to improve at this level to win
5-Masquerade City (Six-year-old gray gelding / Owner-Mb Stables)
Minor placings in stakes events last year was the key to an okay season for Masquerade City but since being claimed and gelded, he has become a new six-year-old and his runner-up effort in the Grade III Excelsior, after holding the lead at the head of the lane, shows that distance and class will not be factor. However, he has yet to race at a Grade I level before and although he is the lowest weighted horses, he stills to prove his might against this class and as such, will be up against to win but certainly not to hit the board.
Analysis-Legitimate chance off his recent form
Based solely on his position in the racing calendar, the Grade I Foster Handicap has never drawn a huge field and with only four entered this time around, picking a winner will be slightly easier than most years, especially with such talented runners assembled. Outward Bound has proven himself at the highest level and is the only horse coming in off a victory so he gets the nod for the win over Duca Di Toscana, who is finally weighted below the best and should be closing, and Masquerade City, who has improved greatly off the claim and will be right there at the end off a cutback from ten- to nine-furlongs.
Win-Outward Bound (8/5)
Place-Duca Di Toscana (5/2)
Show-Masquerade City (4/1)
Triple T Racing 🙂
Categories: Grade I