2022 Stephen Foster Stakes Race Preview, Top Picks and Longshots

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The field leaves the starting gate to begin the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP.

There is a big weekend of horse racing with the long holiday weekend and the excitement at tracks around the country will be amazing, with fireworks on and off the track.

Our attention is drawn to the race card at Churchill Downs, with several important stakes races including the Stephen Foster Stakes. This Grade 2 event will cover nine furlongs and the champion is designated as “Win It, and You’re In It” for the Breeders’ Cup in November.

This race will be on the dirt this Saturday and if you were wondering who Stephen Foster is, he wrote the cherished song in the commonwealth called “My Old Kentucky Home”.

2022 Stephen Foster Stakes

Saturday, July 2, 2022 – 05:47 PM EDT at Churchill Downs

Stephen Foster Stakes Breakdown and Odds

Olympiad (5-2 Odds)

This race has seven entrants and horse bettors are excited about the potential duel between Olympiad and Mandaloun.

Olympiad is trained by Bill Mott and has won all four of its starts in 2022, the last three of them coming in graded stakes like this one.

Everything about Olympiad has been impressive, winning those races by 14 total lengths and posting triple-digit Beyer Speed Ratings each time out. The jockey is Junior Alvarado, with his horse a stalker who likes to press the pace.

Mandaloun (2-1 Odds)

Mandaloun has two Grade 1 wins on its resume, yet won neither race.

You might recall he was awarded the Kentucky Derby after Medina Spirit was disqualified and later at the Haskell, had the same circumstance when Hot Rod Charlie was also DQ’ed for an infraction.

Mandaloun won the G3 Louisiana Stakes over Midnight Bourbon, but at the Saudi Cup on Feb. 26, finished 9th among 14 horses in the one-turn race and has not competed since. Will he be fresh or a little stale?

Americanrevolution (7-2 Odds)

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher was disappointed Americanrevolution finished fourth as the 11/10 favorite in the Blame Stakes at Churchill, which was the local prep for the Stephen Foster.

Pletcher is hoping that was rust from a six-month layoff and having jockey Luis Saez back in the irons, who piloted him to victory in the Cigar Mile, is the difference-maker.

Proxy (9-2 Odds)

Trainer Michael Stidham has Proxy in the field and he’s cashed 9 of 11 starts with a trio of victories.

In the aforementioned Blame Stakes, he was second and before that was No. 2 in the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic Stakes to Olympiad.

Proxy might not win but it is hard to keep him off trifecta or superfecta cards versus the betting odds.

The Long Shots

Last Samurai (8-1 Odds)

Coming out of the last gate is Last Samurai. He’s a well-regarded horse that most horse bettors in this race will think about using for exacta, trifecta, and superfecta tickets in the SFS, with 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 15 outings. 

Last Samurai’s regular jockey Jon Court has ample experience running on Churchill’s main track and his ride is 1-1-2 in six career starts at CD.

Caddo River (10-1 Odds)

Caddo River will break along the rail from the No. 1 spot and in 13 starts he’s posted 5 wins, 4 seconds, and a third.

CR is getting back into the stakes races having won three straight times and is in the best form of his career. With not much early speed in this field, if jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. has the lead at the top of the stretch, he could be tough to catch.

Title Ready (15-1 Odds)

Easily the oldest horse in this race is Title Ready, who is seven and raced 31 times and has 5 wins, 6 seconds, and 6 thirds.

The “old man” is taking on a bunch of four-year-olds. Title Ready almost always supplies a good effort like finishing third by four lengths to Olympiad in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes, earlier.

Stephen Foster Stakes: Betting Picks

There is a great deal of talent and speed in this race and there appear to be four ‘Win’ candidates. They are:

  • Mandaloun
  • Olympiad
  • Americanrevolution
  • Proxy

Mandaloun has the most talent and Olympiad is the hottest horse and that pair seems like the exact betting picks to make at the top-rated sportsbooks.

Americanrevolution has the talent to compete and if jockey Saez can get the ride his horse prefers, the #2 horse can win. Proxy needs the lead late and has something left in the tank to hold off the closers.

Of the long shots, Caddo River is running the best and appears to have matured from its more unruly days. Having a great trainer like Cox and a jockey like Santana gives him a shot.

Horse Racing Pick: Winner – #2 Olympiad

Horse Racing Pick: Long Shot – #1 Caddo River

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.