Time for a Gold Cup Rematch in Foster

Foster (Grade 2) (BC)- $750.000 Purse
CD- For Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
July 2, 2022

Some of the top older horses in the game are headed to CD this weekend for the 20th running of the Foster. Valuable points for the BC Classic are available for the top four finishers, and looking to pick up the winner’s share again will be Charleys Latte. This race was first held in 2003, and it was a Grade 1 at that time, running for just $300.000. Three year olds were invited to the party then. Over time, the things have changed, with the purse going up and down, peaking at $750.000 between 2005 and 2009. In 2022, we will see that purse level restored, so that is great news! The race was downgraded in 2019 to a Grade 2, and a year later, three year olds were no longer welcome to participate. They didn’t have much success in it, though, as only once was the race ever won by a three year old, and that came in 2003 (Galactica). As for Charleys Latte, if he does repeat, he will do so for two different trainers, as John Henry saddled him up last year. We’ll talk more about him in a bit, as we look through our field of fourteen!

#1- Tempestuous (Mb Stables, ridden by L Saez)- He’s always been a consistent horse, but the way he has run since early 2021 is very impressive, finishing first our second in 11 of 13 races. Many of those are in high level optional claimers, so while still taken on great company, they are races that don’t quite get the press level. Eventually, he moved into the graded ranks, and would win the SA Handicap in March with an unusual for him, frontrunning style. At the same track last month, he was third in the Grade 1 Gold Cup.

#2- Saturday Khartoum (Rousee, ridden by T Gaffalione)- This eight year old gelding will be making the 41st start of his career, and he is still getting it done. He began 2022 with back to back wins, highlighted by the Grade 3 Mineshaft at FG, a race that Charleys Latte was also seen in. Almost picked up his third win of the year last month in the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes north of the border, but was the third horse in a three way photo for the win there. That effort did earn him a 100 SRF.

#3- Home Spirit (Night Rider Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- Making his third start of 2022, and would love to start getting the results he finished off 2021 with, where he was third in three straight, but within a half length of a win each time. He is usually close, but most of his wins came in 2020, when he was working his way up from his maiden win to ungraded competition. There was a four race winning streak then. In the second win, Night Rider claimed for $7.500. Excellent profit, there.

#4- Contradiction (Aer Stables, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- Ran in all three TC races last year, and his best result of that stretch was a runner up showing to Howl Of The Hound in the PRK. While the BEL did not go well, he immediately got back into great form, scoring a win in the PA Derby, and then running fourth in the BC Classic. Unfortunately for the trainer, that has not carried over into his four year old season, as none of his three starts have seen him hit the board, or be within three lengths of the winner. Most of his better starts have been when he was good out of the gate, and he contradicted that style last month in the Eclipse.

#5- Night Creature (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by V Espinoza)- This one has made the BC twice in his career, but neither of those races was the BC Classic. D J C is hoping for a better, and a strong result three weeks ago, where he was third in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap has him on the right track. It’s been a while since he last won, though, as you have to go all the way back to February 2021. He can be inconsistent, so it is not a surprise to see him go off with double digit odds frequently. High risk, high reward when he gets it done.

#6- First Sargeant (High Voltage, ridden by M Franco)- This five year old gelding had a good career on the turf, but the results have been promising on the main track. He was moved to the dirt at the end of January, and won an optional claimer at SA. Later ran third in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap and would then win the Grade 2 OP Handicap, and it’s $1,000.000 purse at the end of April. For some reason, the Sargeant just didn’t fire last month in the Gold Cup, tiring in the stretch. He won’t have to run quite as far here, so I expect him to run better.

#7- Z Trippi One (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by Ru Gonzalez)- Amongst all the big name horses that have plenty of success, we have Z Trippi One and his $46.570 in career earnings. It took him a while to break his maiden, and he would be sold by former trainer, Gdp Inc., in late May for $60.000. Had a good effort last month at SA in a state bred optional claimer, placing third. Off of that, he’s here. Stranger things have happened.

#8- Gran Z (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by D Davis)- Over his 34-race career, the six year old gelding has won ten times and has earned over $3,000.000. Only one horse in this field has won more. Twice we have seen Gran Z in the BC Classic, and back in 2020, he ended up running third. He has not lost a step this year, either, with three wins in six starts, including his last two. At the beginning of the month, he handled this race track brilliantly to win the Grade 1 CD, and at the end of May, he won the $400.000 Sexton Mile at LS. Was third in this race last year, and is poised to run very well in it once again.

#9- Crack Dab (Gdp Inc., ridden by M Murrill)- A successful horse that has run in the BC the last two years, running in the Classic in 2020 and the Dirt Mile in 2021. After the Dirt Mile, he followed it up well, one would think, by hitting the board in three straight Grade 3’s, including a near miss at the wire in the LA Stakes. Despite that, the trainer lowered his competition level to the ungraded ranks, though races that still have decent purses. Winning the Blame against four others gets Crack Dab a chance to run against company he is more than capable of getting a good result against.

#10- Charleys Latte (Fractious, ridden by E Jaramillo)- Here we find the winner of the Foster last year, as the 2020 BC Classic champion would win that race by a nose. Since then, he has not been back to the winner’s circle, so that will grab your attention right away. However, we have seen many examples of a return to the same race being just what the doctor ordered to get a horse on a roll again. Fractious picked up the horse in private sales for $550.000 in April, and he has failed to hit the board in his two starts since. But that streak didn’t just start there. The Foster was also the last time he was top three.

#11- Mintmach (Nakamura Stables, ridden by E J Wilson)- Since being claimed for $35.000 last fall, Mintmach has run very well for Nakamura, with three wins in five starts. Two of those are graded victories: the Grade 3 Challenger and Grade 2 Californian. However, last month, he had the kind of race that Nolespan dealt with in March that led to him being put in the $35.000 claimer. Nakamura Stables is not going to lose any faith in him, and puts him right back out there against some of the best in the game. Though against elite company, he has not always been his best.

#12- Quality Art (Mb Stables, ridden by C J Hernandez)- After winning four of his first nine races, capped off by the $160.000 Knicks Go right here at the beginning of May, Quality Art got the chance to make his graded debut in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap. After setting the early fractions there, he faded back through the field and ended up ninth. Mb Stables will be prepared to make the necessary adjustments, and it may be in how he breaks from the gate. Still, he looks up to many in here.

#13- Sports Page (John Henry, ridden by D Van Dyke)- I’ve covered this horse many times, and probably said the same or similar thing in many of those previews: needs a signature win other than the BG Stakes. Needs to start showing a little consistency. Well, that page is now turned. Sports Page finally won another big race, other than the BG Stakes, and looked highly impressive in the process when he took the Grade 1 Gold Cup. Plus, it came on the heels of a second place showing in the OP Handicap, so now maybe the consistency is happening. We’ve always known this horse was capable of big things, now he’s showing it. I’m going to ride the wave with him here.

#14- Toxic Personality (Arindel, ridden by R Gutierrez)- The post draw did not do any favors to the top two finishers from the Gold Cup, as Toxic Personality will have to start from the outside post next to the familiar rival. Since being purchased from Patterson Stables for $150.000, Toxic Personality has been second in three of his four starts, also including the Pegasus World Cup. Won the Clark Handicap a couple weeks before the sale, so a good bargain for Arindel, no doubt. Lost a second in public work times at a mile between May and June, though there are many reasons for that.

Prediction: 13-8-2-5

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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