Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

STEPHEN FOSTER HANDICAP

A 62-1 Shot Beats Southern Image

June 13, 2004|Bob Mieszerski | Times Staff Writer

When trainer Walter Bindner Jr. saw his Colonial Colony battling for the lead nearing the wire in the $810,750 Stephen Foster Handicap on Saturday at Churchill Downs, he thought his eyes were playing tricks on him.

"I thought I was looking at the wrong horse," he said.

There was nothing wrong with Bindner's vision. Colonial Colony, deservedly the longest shot in the Grade I field at 62-1, pulled the biggest upset in the 23-year history of the Foster, hanging a nose on 3-2 favorite Southern Image over a sloppy surface.

In the race primarily because Churchill Downs' racing office had encouraged his owner, Chris Nolan, and Bindner to enter because of the smallness of the lineup, the 6-year-old Pleasant Colony gelding came up with the performance of his life.

A winner once in 14 previous starts on dirt, Colonial Colony gave jockey Rafael Bejarano, who leads the Churchill Downs standings, his most significant win since he arrived in the U.S. in 2002.

In the process, the dark bay, who had never been better than third in six races over the track and who had lost 12 in a row since last winning at the Fair Grounds in February 2003, beat a field that, besides Southern Image, included Peace Rules, defending champion Perfect Drift and Midway Road. He ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.40.

The loss ended a five-race winning streak for Southern Image, who was looking for his fourth Grade I triumph since Dec. 26 for trainer Mike Machowsky. Now six for eight in his career, he is scheduled to return to California for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 10 at Hollywood Park.

*

Although jockey Victor Espinoza had to settle for second with Southern Image, he won the $400,000 Fleur De Lis Handicap with California shipper Adoration. The other stakes winners were Prince Arch in the $200,000 Jefferson Cup, Suave in the $200,000 Northern Dancer, Sister Star in the $200,000 Regret and Senor Swinger in the $100,000 Opening Verse.

*

Seattle Fitz, the 3-1 second choice, held off favored Dynever to win the $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont Park.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|