Stephen Foster 2023 Analysis & Wagers

By Jarrod Horak

The Grade 1, $1 million Stephen Foster Stakes is the 10th race at Ellis Park on Saturday, July 1, and it is a Win and You’re In event for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Eight horses will line up to face the starter and Smile Happy is the 3-1 morning line favorite. 

Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Ellis Park

1 – Proxy (4-1)

2 – Stiletto Boy (6-1)

3 – Speed Bias (12-1)

4 – Rattle N Roll (4-1)

5 – Smile Happy (3-1)

6 – West Will Power (7-2)

7 – Last Samurai (6-1)

8 – Happy American (20-1)

I will go through the projected race shape and look at the best final time ratings, and finish up with wagering strategies.  My Stephen Foster video is included below as well.

Click here for Ellis Park Horse Racing Tips & Insider Information

Today’s Racing Digest Pace Ratings (2023 Stakes Races) – Most Representative Line

West Will Power – 156 (New Orleans Classic)

Stilleto Boy -155 (Big ‘Cap)

Speed Bias – 149 (Pimlico Special)

Smile Happy – 149 (Alysheba)

Proxy – 135 (Big ‘Cap)

Last Samurai – 128 (Alysheba)

Rattle N Roll – 123 (Pimlico Special)

Happy American – 105 (Blame)

Speed Bias, Stilleto Boy, and West Will Power are capable of setting the pace. Based on the post draw, Stilleto Boy should go from post 2 and Speed Bias is right outside that one in post 3. West Will Power is in post 6 and his rider Flavien Prat should have early-pressing options. Smile Happy should be in a good spot behind those three. 

Today’s Racing Digest Final Ratings (2023 Stakes Races) – Most Representative Line

West Will Power – 162 (New Orleans Classic)

Smile Happy – 158 (Alysheba)

Proxy – 149 (Oaklawn Handicap)

Rattle N Roll – 149 (Blame)

Last Samurai – 149 (Oaklawn Handicap)

Stilleto Boy – 147 (Big ‘Cap)

Speed Bias – 146 (Pimlico Special)

Happy American – 143 (Blame)

West Will Power and Smile Happy are the two most likely winners. West Will Power can turn the tables on Smile Happy if runs back to his New Orleans Classic speed rating. We may not have seen the best from Smile Happy and the others are probably in trouble if he moves forward again. The next three are even and I give Proxy the edge from that group. Stilleto Boy is solid and can hit the board. 

Jarrod’s Stephen Foster Wagers

#6 to win

Exacta 5-6/2-5-6

Trifecta 1-5-6/1-5-6/2

Super High Five: 5-6/1-5-6/1-2-4-5-6/1-2-4-5-6/1-2-4-5-6