First Mission Headed To Stephen Foster

First Mission | Horsephotos

Godolphin's 'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense), impressive winner of the GII Alysheba S. at Churchill Downs May 3, will take the next logical step in the $1-million GI Stephen Foster S. beneath the Twin Spires Saturday, June 29.

“He ran a huge race,” trainer Brad Cox told the Churchill media office. “We're very proud of his effort, Down the lane, it seemed like he was getting stronger as he got closer to the wire.”

Favored at just over even-money in the 8 1/2-furlong Alysheba, the homebred sat handy enough to a lively pace set by Japan's T O Saint Denis (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) and steadily reeled him in late, drawing clear to win by four lengths while earning a strong 106 Beyer Speed Figure. T O Saint Denis was awarded a 99.

Connections will hope First Mission's second attempt at the highest level goes better than his first when he was beaten better than 20 lengths into ninth in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Jan. 27. He bounced back in no uncertain terms with a five-length romp in the GIII Essex H. prior to the Alysheba.

The Stephen Foster is a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar Nov. 2.

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