Multiple graded stakes winners Mr. Money and Owendale headline a solid field of 14 older horses in Saturday’s first running of the $100,000 Blame presented by Norton Healthcare – a potential steppingstone to the $500,000 Stephen Foster (Grade II) on closing day of the Spring Meet at Churchill Downs.
The one-mile Blame, named after the 2010 Eclipse Award-winning older horse, is set for Race 9 with a post time of 5:12 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post Saturday is 1 p.m. Dubbed as “Stephen Foster Preview Day,” Saturday’s 11-race program features a quintet of stakes events: the $100,000 Shawnee (Race 7), $100,000 Tepin (Race 8), $150,000 Matt Winn (GIII) (Race 10) and $100,000 War Chant (Race 11).
Mr. Money, owned by Allied Racing Stable and Spendthrift Farm and trained by Bret Calhoun, became a highly-touted 3-year-old last year with four Grade III victories on his résumé including the $400,000 Pat Day Mile on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs. The now 4-year-old son of Goldencents will attempt to get back in the winner’s circle following disappointing defeats in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) and $150,000 Oaklawn Mile. His regular pilot Gabriel Saez will be in the irons from post No. 13.
Rupp Racing’s three-time Grade III winner Owendale drew post 8 for the Blame as the Brad Cox-trainee is set to make his 4-year-old debut. Owendale’s 3-year-old campaign was highlighted by victories in the $200,000 Lexington (GIII), $500,000 Ohio Derby (GIII) and $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (GIII). His sophomore campaign concluded with a runner-up finish in the $600,000 Clark (GI). Owendale will be ridden by Florent Geroux.
Other horses expected to garner attention in the Blame are Tom Durant’s multiple graded stakes winner Silver Dust; Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s come-backing $400,000 Alysheba (GII) hero Backyard Heaven; Sagamore Farm and WinStar Farm’s four-time winner Global Campaign; and Uriah St. Lewis’ 2018 $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI) winner Discreet Lover.
The complete field for the Blame:
1. Long Range Toddy, J: Jon Court, T: Dallas Stewart
2. Bourbon Resolution, J: Chris Landeros, T: Ian Wilkes
3. Global Campaign, J: Stanley Hough, T: Jose Ortiz
4. Alwaysmining, J: Manny Franco, T: Kelly Rubley
5. Everfast, J: Joel Rosario, T: Jack Sisterson
6. Backyard Heaven, J: Tyler Gaffalione, T: Mike Maker
7. Silver Dust, J: Adam Beschizza, T: Bret Calhoun
8. Owendale, J: Florent Geroux, T: Brad Cox
9. Extraordinary Jerry, J: Javier Castellano, T: Dermot Magner
10. Snapper Sinclair, J: Julien Leparoux, T: Steve Asmussen
11. American Anthem, J: David Cohen, T: Danny Gargan
12. Discreet Lover, J: John Bisono, T: Uriah St. Lewis
13. Mr. Money, J: Gabriel Saez, T: Bret Calhoun
14. Diamond King, J: Kendrick Carmouche, T: John Servis
Photo: Owendale. Credit: Churchill Downs