G2 Wise Dan Winner Stitched Pointing to $2M Mint Millions

August 17, 2023

Stitched wins the Wise Dan (G2) July 1 at Ellis Park under Flavien Prat (Coady Photography)

Countdown to Kentucky Downs (14 days!)

By Jennie Rees – Kentucky Downs

FRANKLIN, Ky.— Among those delighted to see the $1 million Mint Million promoted to the $2 million Mint Millions are the people connected with Stitched.

The 4-year-old colt knows something about big numbers, having paid $94.50 to win in taking the Grade 2 Wise Dan held July 1 at Ellis Park. Stitched, with Flavien Prat up, wore down the pacesetting Get Smokin in the final strides to win by a neck. Flattering those two horses was Set Piece, who finished a troubled third as the favorite but went on to win last week’s Arlington Million (G1) at Colonial Downs.

With the purse hike, the Sept. 2 Mint Millions now has a $1 million base purse with another $1 million available to Kentucky-born and -sired horses made eligible to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund. That covers the vast majority of horses racing in the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs and America, including the Kentucky-bred Stitched.

“That certainly didn’t hurt anybody’s feelings,” Travis Foley, assistant trainer to dad Greg Foley, said of the purse doubling. “I’m sure it will be a loaded race. But a horse coming off a great effort, and gave him plenty of time in between, I like our shot.”


Stitched is owned by breeder Nathan McCauley, Michael W. Olszewski and William J. Minton. The Mizzen Mast colt ran in last year’s Grade 2 Franklin-Simpson for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs, finishing fifth behind the front-running 20-1 shot One Timer. That Kentucky-bred gelding earned a fees-paid spot in Kentucky Downs’ $1 million, Grade 2 Ainsworth Turf Sprint at six furlongs on Sept. 9 by virtue of winning the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint at Ellis Park.

“He was undefeated going a mile into that race,” Travis Foley said of running Stitched in the Franklin-Simpson rather than the mile Gun Runner for 3-year-olds last year. “We thought Kentucky Downs plays long most of the time. We were thinking the cutback could work to his benefit. He came out of that race a little funky, so I think we had an excuse.”

Stitched was 4 for 4 at a mile on turf and 1-for-1 at 7 1/2 furlongs last year. Off seven months, he resumed racing in Keeneland’s 5 1/2-furlong Shakertown (G2) won by future Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Caravel. Stitched was off the board in his next two starts, back at a mile, before winning the 1 1/16-mile Wise Dan. It was his first victory in which he did not go virtually wire to wire. 

“He’s training really well,” Travis Foley said. “I think the pace got to him in a couple of races coming back. He showed a little different style in the Wise Dan, where he sat kind of mid-pack. And that was a mile and a sixteenth, so it kind of proved he could go longer. He was out-finishing everybody that day. It gives us hope that he can handle the mile down there. Nathan McCauley, the owner-breeder, wanted to have a fresh horse coming into that race. So, we skipped the preview race and are taking a shot at the big one.”

Countdown to Kentucky Downs (14 days!) 
Aug. 31 and Sept. 2, 3, 7, 9, 10 and 13

2023 Kentucky Downs stakes schedule

All stakes are on turf and include Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund 

Kitodan wins last year’s $750,000, Grade 3 Dueling Grounds Derby under Gerardo Corrales (Grace Clark)

Thursday Aug. 31  $500,000 FanDuel TVG Tapit Stakes, 3-year-olds & up who have not won a stakes in 2023, mile and 70 yards.

Saturday Sept. 2 — $1 million Big Ass Fans Music City (G3), 3-year-old fillies, 6 1/2 furlongs; $1 million Gun Runner, 3-year-olds, one mile; $2 million The Mint Millions (G3), 3-year-olds & up, one mile.

Sunday Sept. 3 — $1 million National Thoroughbred League Dueling Grounds Derby (G3), 3-year-olds, 1 5/16 miles; $1 million Dueling Grounds Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1 5/16 miles. Also: $500,000 National Thoroughbred League Handicap, 3-year-olds & up, mile.

Thursday Sept. 7 — $500,000 Jeff Ruby’s One Dreamer, fillies and mares 3 years old & up who have not won a stakes in 2023, mile and 70 yards.

Saturday Sept. 9 — $1 million Ainsworth Turf Sprint (G2) *BC, 3-year-olds & up, six furlongs; $1 million FanDuel Turf Cup (G2) *BC, 3-year-olds & up, 1 1/2 miles; $1 million Exacta Systems Franklin-Simpson (G2), 3-year-olds, 6 1/2 furlongs; $1 million AGS Ladies Sprint (G2), fillies and mares 3 years old & up, 6 1/2 furlongs; $1 million Castle Hill Gaming Ladies Turf (G3), fillies and mares 3 years old & up, one mile; $1 million Aristocrat Ladies Marathon (G3), fillies and mares 3 years old & up, 1 5/16 miles.

Sunday, Sept. 10 — $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile, 2-year-olds, mile; $500,000 Global Tote Juvenile Fillies, 2-year-old fillies, mile.

Wednesday Sept. 13 — $500,000 Pepsi Juvenile Sprint, 2-year-olds, 6 1/2 furlongs; $500,000 Pepsi Untapable, 2-year-old fillies, 6 1/2 furlongs.

*BC: Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race – winner gets fees-paid berth in corresponding Breeders’ Cup race at Santa Anita

@jonathanstettin @bbopjz agree , but in my opinion Mr. Stettin remains second to none …….

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