Stephen Foster Stakes Prediction, Preview, and Odds (July 1)

By · Updated 12 months ago
  • Grade 1 action is staged at Ellis Park this weekend
  • Stephen Foster Stakes is a ‘win and you’re in’ for the Breeders’ Cup Classic

Fascinating horse racing action takes place on Saturday, July 1, as one of the big summer Grade 1s in the United States is staged at Ellis Park. The Stephen Foster Stakes could offer clues for the Breeders’ Cup Classic later this year, as the field compete over a distance of 1 1/8 miles on the dirt.

Schedule and How To Watch

  • When: Saturday, July 1, 2023, from 5:26 p.m. ET
  • Where: Ellis Park, Kentucky
  • How To Watch: FanDuel TV

Stephen Fosters Stakes Odds

Smile Happy
West Will Power
Rattle N Roll
Stilleto Boy
Speed Bias
Last Samurai
Happy American

Race Preview

The Stephen Foster Stakes will be staged at Ellis Park this year following a number of fatalities at Churchill Downs across the Kentucky Derby weekend. The race has been staged annually since 1982, with horses aged three and older competing over the 1 1/8 mile distance. It has been a standout race for some huge stars, with five previous winners landing victory in this Grade 1 and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Smile Happy is a horse that I have always liked for trainer Kenneth McPeek, and it was pleasing to see the four-year-old back to his very best last time out. He returned to winning ways in stakes company for the first time since his two-year-old campaign, as he bested a strong field in the G2 Alysheba to beat Art Collector and West Will Power. Furthermore, the performance scored a speed rating of 108, and put him in the mix this weekend.

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Meanwhile, Michael Stidham-trained Proxy is the other standout contender based on recent form, and it’s hard to ignore his incredibly consistent record. The runner has scored speed figures of 100+ on every start since the beginning of 2022, and he comes into this weekend after landing the G2 Oaklawn Handicap from Last Samurai and Stiletto Boy.

However, the latter of those is also incredibly consistent in his own right. He beat Proxy in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap at the start of March, and still scored a speed rating of 106 when third at Oaklawn Park. Furthermore, he has finished in the top three on all four starts in graded company this term. Meanwhile, West Will Power should improve after finishing third in the G2 Alysheba, while Rattle N Roll could be hard to ignore after his impressive distance in the G3 Blame.

Stephen Foster Stakes Prediction

This is one of the most open Grade 1s that we have seen in the United States this season. Smile Happy and Stiletto Boy are the two standout picks for me, with the latter showing throughout his career that he is capable of huge performances in Grade 1 company. Therefore, he could be the best value selections of the entire weekend at the current prices.

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Alex Dudley
Contributor Alex has covered huge sporting events for various websites and publications. He has attended football European Championships, Rugby League and Union World Cups, and the Paralympics. Alex is dedicated to giving the most insightful tips for VegasOdds readers and specialises in horse racing, soccer, golf and basketball.