Canadian-invader Breaking Lucky will attempt to avenge his loss to Gun Runner in last year's $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (Grade I) in Saturday's $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by GE Appliances (GI) at Churchill Downs.
“I love coming to Louisville,” trainer Reade Baker said. “This city is a lot different than Canada but Breaking Lucky loves it here as well.”
The 5-year-old horse by Lookin At Lucky finished 2 ¾ lengths behind Gun Runner in last year's Clark but will give it another try Saturday to dethrone the No. 4 ranked horse in the world.
“Gun Runner keeps getting better,” Baker said. “I just hope we can sit a close trip off of the speed and get lucky to get the jump on him. Breaking Lucky loves the surface here. He's run well before and hopefully he takes to it again Saturday night.”
Jockey Luis Contreras also will make the trip from north of the border and has the call to ride Breaking Lucky.
Breaking Lucky has a 19-3-5-3 record with $953,776 in earnings.
The Stephen Foster Handicap field from the rail out (with jockeys, assigned weights and morning line odds): Bird Song (Julien Leparoux, 119 pounds, 6-1); Breaking Lucky (Contreras, 117, 8-1); Gun Runner (Florent Geroux, 124, 4-5); Honorable Duty (Javier Castellano, 119, 6-1); Mo Tom (Corey Lanerie, 115, 20-1); Hawaakom (Miguel Mena, 115, 12-1); Texas Chrome (C.J. McMahon, 117, 12-1); and Stanford (John Velazquez, 117, 5-1).
The Stephen Foster Handicap is the centerpiece of an action-packed, prime-time program billed as “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and el Jimador.” The Stephen Foster Handicap is the richest of five graded stakes races on Saturday's special 11-race night racing card that begins at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern). Total purses on the evening are $1.358 million, which makes it the most lucrative racing day for horsemen at Churchill Downs outside of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks programs.
The Stephen Foster Handicap has been carded as Race 8 at 9:39 p.m. NBCSN will televise the race from 8:30-10 p.m. to launch its 2017 “Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In, presented by Lane's End Farm and America's Best Racing” television schedule. Also, Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) will air live coverage from 8-10 p.m. ET on SiriusXM channel 108 and online at www.horseracingradio.net.
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