July 16, 2024

Somelikeithotbrown, Set Piece square off in Wise Dan; Helium switches to turf in War Chant

Somelikeithotbrown wins Dinnery Party S. 2021
Somelikeithotbrown wins the Dinner Party (Photo by Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)

Saturday’s Stephen Foster Day program at Churchill Downs features seven stakes, including three on turf. Let’s preview the fields in the $300,000 Wise Dan (G2), $150,000 War Chant, and $150,000 Tepin S.

Wise Dan (G2) – Race 10 (5::26 p.m. ET)

Multiple Grade 2 winner Somelikeithotbrown, a one-length scorer in the May 15 Dinner Party (G2) on the Preakness undercard, highlights 10 runners in the 1 1/16-mile turf affair. A New York-bred son of Big Brown, the Mike Maker-trained horse will be forwardly-placed from his inside post with Jose Ortiz.

Imported from England last year, Set Piece rates as a serious challenger following convincing wins in the Douglas Park S. and Opening Verse S. over the local course. The eight-year-old gelding has captured 3-of-4 starts at Churchill Downs, and Florent Geroux guides the late runner for Brad Cox.

Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) runner-up Ride a Comet should appreciate the cutback following an unplaced finish in the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1). A three-time graded winner for Mark Casse, the six-year-old horse will be rallying with Tyler Gaffalione.

Other contestants include Field Pass, Hierarchy, and Spooky Channel.

War Chant – Race 7 (3:50 p.m. ET)

Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Helium, eighth in the Kentucky Derby and third most recently in the Matt Winn (G3), will make his first turf start in the War Chant. Bred for turf, the Ironicus colt should appreciate the surface switch given how well he performed on Woodbine’s synthetic oval last fall, romping in the Display S., and Gaffalione picks up the assignment for Mark Casse.

Multiple turf stakes victor Royal Prince, third in the May 29 Audubon S. at Churchill Downs, is also among the eight three-year-olds entered for the mile affair. Grade 3-placed Starrinmydreams will make his first turf attempt, and Accredit will jump to stakes competition following a front-running victory over entry-level allowance foes.

Tepin – Race 12 (6:27 p.m. ET)

New Boss and Navratilova just missed the May 8 Mamzelle S. at Churchill, finishing second and third in the three-horse blanket photo, and they’ll meet again in the Tepin.

A total of 13 three-year-olds fillies are set for the mile turf event. Other contenders include Barista, runner-up in the Edgewood (G2) and fifth in the Regret (G3) in her last two outings; Bourbonette Oaks winner Adventuring; multiple stakes queen Tobys Heart; Soaring Softly (G3) runner-up Invincible Gal; and last-out maiden winners Commanders Palace and Town Avenger.