Four Grade Threes Feature On Foster Preview Day

Highland Falls | Coady

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Godolphin's progressive homebred Highland Falls (Curlin) has been made the 5-2 favorite in a field of 11 for Saturday's GIII Blame S. at Churchill Downs, one of four graded stakes that serve as an appetizer to corresponding races on Stephen Foster Saturday in a month's time beneath the Twin Spires.

The chestnut son of Round Pond (Awesome Again), upset winner of the 2006 GI Breeders' Cup Distaff at the Louisville oval, makes his third consecutive appearance in graded company, having run on to be a good fourth to Newgate (Into Mischief) in the GI Santa Anita H. Mar. 3 ahead of a strong runner-up effort to the talented Skippylongstocking (Exaggerator) in the GII Oaklawn H.

“I thought he ran well in the Santa Anita H., where the pace didn't really shape up all that fast,” trainer Brad Cox said. “I thought in the Oaklawn H. he ran a credible race and improved out of the Santa Anita H. We're looking forward to Saturday's race and hoping it kickstarts a big campaign for him.”

Todd Pletcher is double-fisted for the Blame, with 'TDN Rising Star' Tapit Trice (Tapit) making his first start since finishing third in last year's GI Travers S., and the less-exposed GI Pennsylvania Derby runner-up Dreamlike (Gun Runner), who dropped a neck decision at the hooves of Cagliostro (Upstart) in Keeneland allowance company Apr. 19.

Can Buchu Bounce Back in Regret?

Rigney Racing's Buchu (Justify) will likely jump favored in Saturday's GIII Regret S. and is on a bit of a recovery mission after finishing only sixth at 5-2 in the GII Edgewood S. on the Kentucky Oaks undercard May 3. Victorious in Keeneland's GII Appalachian S. on seasonal return Apr. 6, the homebred was perhaps inconvenienced by easier-than-optimal underfoot conditions in the Edgewood and finished sixth, beaten just over two lengths.

“This will be a good test for her going nine furlongs for the first time,” trainer Phil Bauer said. “The plan is definitely to keep her reserved early to save some energy for her late kick.”

Way to Be Marie (Not This Time) has remained in Kentucky since her runner-up effort in the Edgewood, where she was just touched off by Dynamic Pricing (Ire) (Night of Thunder {Ire}) and had the re-opposing Dancing N Dixie (Neolithic) another length back in third.

Ottoman Fleet (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) figures tough from the fence in the GIII Arlington S., while Rigney's Xigera (Nyquist) will look to atone for a fifth in the GI La Troienne S. while facing Godolphin's Wet Paint (Blame) and 'TDN Rising Star' Scylla (Tapit) in the GIII Shawnee S.

'Mistress' Looks To Go All The Way in Honeymoon

Umberto Rispoli will be on a red-eye back to California after riding the Friday evening program at Penn National, and he will team with Shiloh's Mistress (Vino Rosso) in Saturday's GIII Honeymoon S. at Santa Anita.

Owned by Resolute Racing, the bay won her maiden going long over the Tapeta track at Turfway Jan. 10, prompting John Stewart to acquire her in a private transaction, but she could do no better than fifth in the GIII Santa Ynez S. With Rispoli at the controls for the first time in the Apr. 20 GIII Providencia S., Shiloh's Mistress made all the running and was just run down on the wire by the undefeated 1-5 favorite Medoro (Honor Code).

If connections opt out of an appearance in the Regret, for which she is cross-entered, Faith Understood (Catholic Boy) could be a real fly in the ointment for Shiloh's Mistress. The Robert LaPenta homebred won her maiden at 13-1 in a Keeneland grass maiden two back and set the fractions in the Memories of Silver S. at Aqueduct Apr. 28, but was no match late for Resolute's 'TDN Rising Star' Sweet Rebecca (American Pharoah) and settled for second. A 15-1 chance in the Regret, Faith Understood is pegged as the 5-2 favorite on Jon White's morning line.

The GII Triple Bend S. has a field of four, including the once-beaten Venkman (Ghostzapper), narrowly second in last year's Perryville S. at Keeneland, making his 4-year-old debut against the best Cal-bred sprinter not named The Chosen Vron (Vronsky), Big City Lights (Mr. Big), last-out winner of the GIII Kona Gold S.

There is also a four graded-stakes program at Woodbine, featuring the GII Eclipse S., where Tyson (Tapit), a dual graded winner on synth and third in last year's GI Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga, takes on the comebacking Get Smokin (Get Stormy), making his first start on the Tapeta off a strong worktab, and his King's Plate-winning stablemate Paramount Prince (Society's Chairman).

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