June 18, 2012
The $400,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) for older horses going 1 1/8 miles, is the second richest race at Churchill Downs after the Kentucky Derby, and is the first Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race for the Classic. Wise Dan was sent off as the 9-10 favorite in the field of 8, off a 3 race winning streak including the Fayette (G2), Clark (G1), and Ben Ali (G3). In to challenge him included 6-1 second choice Nehro, second in the Pimlico Special (G3) last out, and 7-1 third choice Fort Larned, off a second place finish in the Alysheba (G2).
Jockey Miguel Mena sent 14-1 Nates Mineshaft to the lead and he set fractions of 23.66, 47.27, and 1:10.95 over the fast track while as many as 2 lengths in front of Wise Dan and Fort Larned stalking him second and third. Entering the stretch, Nates Mineshaft held the lead, getting the mile in 1:36.33, but 9-1 Ron the Greek, along the rail, and Wise Dan, to the outside, gained on the pacesetter through the final furlong. Ron the Greek outfinished Wise Dan by a head in 1:50.51. It was just 3/4 lengths back to Nates Mineshaft third.