2022 Stephen Foster Stakes Cheatsheet
By TwinSpires Editorial Team, Sponsored Content

By Vance Hanson (TwinSpires.com)

1. CADDO RIVER (10-1) – Has earned his way back to graded stakes company courtesy of three blowout allowance wins; 2-for-2 over this track and could be hitting his best stride now at age four, but the burden is on him to prove he’s a different type than what was shown in the spring of his three-year-old campaign, when his relative talent was found out on his way to the classics; an exotics consideration at least.

2. AMERICANREVOLUTION (7-2) – Disappointed as the big favorite in the Blame S., but was conceding fitness to most everyone having not been out since a gutsy win in the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct last December (defeating Olympiad); eligible to move forward here, though the waters are deeper and the possibility exists that he might be best around one turn in open company (his two-turn successes occurred in state-bred company); nonetheless, appears fast enough with his best, reunites with Saez, and might offer the most value for those looking to fade the top two choices.

3. OLYMPIAD (5-2) – While no superstar yet from a speed rating perspective, he’s made his presence felt in the division already this season with three graded wins in a row both here and at Fair Grounds, the latter a track-record setting performance; admittedly has worked out great trips in all of them, but don’t see any reason on paper for that changing in this test for Mott, who has skillfully managed this son of Speightstown to six wins from nine starts; despite being second choice on the ML, perhaps the one to fear most.

4. TITLE READY (15-1) – Third in the Alysheba (G2) one of his better graded finishes of late, but there wasn’t much depth beyond the top two in that field; that was a rare triple-digit Brisnet speed rating he earned, too, and he’ll have to run even better to get on top against this group; career-best needed for the veteran seven-year-old, which is generally an unlikely proposition.

5. PROXY (9-2) – Stakes form this season has been commendable, but it’s really been the story of his career thus far with lots of minor awards to show and none of the glory; got four pounds from Olympiad down in New Orleans, and got no closer than two lengths, and only gets an additional pound reprieve from that rival here; useful fodder for the exotics again, but find others more tantalizing as a win option.

6. MANDALOUN (2-1) – Returns to action after a fruitless trip to Saudi Arabia, where he performed well below par; season debut before that a solid piece of work against late rival Midnight Bourbon, and if ready to run up to that standard off the bench he’ll prove dangerous; the beneficiary of two major disqualifications last season and has cut it close against inferior rivals at other times, so he’s not necessarily the most reliable at asserting his superiority; food for thought at a short price.

7. LAST SAMURAI (8-1) – Breakout victory in the Oaklawn H. (G2) last time was more or less a tactical success; when no one else wanted the lead, this colt, who had never shown much speed before, took the initiative, dropped back a bit, and the re-rallied and won for fun by four lengths over subsequent 12-furlong Brooklyn (G2) winner Fearless; although a much improved horse since last fall, this field is significantly deeper and doubt trip today will be as ideal.