Stephen Foster Victory for Macho Again
The contender field for the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap was filled with top athletes, and even before the race, everyone was aware that it was going to be difficult and close race. Held at the Churchill Downs Racecourse on Saturday, 13 June 2009, spectators clamored for good seating to watch racing greats such as Einstein, Macho Again and Asiatic Boy in live horse racing action. But it was to be a day of celebration for trainer Dallas Steward and West Point Thoroughbreds, as jockey Robby Albarado rode Macho Again to victory.
Macho Again has shown his spectacular talent and wonderful racing ability on numerous occasions, but on Saturday, it seemed that everything kept falling into place to secure a one length victory over his fellow competitors. The racing pace did start of a little slow, with Finallymadeit leading the field, which did concern Stewart a little, commenting that: “I thought the :48 half was a little slow for us. I thought they would go in :47.” But on the final turn, with Macho Again trailing behind, Albarado made the decision to take Macho Again on the outside, which paid off for them greatly. Macho Again surged into immediate action, while Einstein and Asiatic Boy were fighting for a gap to break free of the contender field.
Boxed in behind other contenders, Julien Leparoux was eventually able to make a break with Einstein, but it was too late for this Grade 1 champion, as Macho Again already had a steady lead and had enough stamina and speed to maintain his lead until the finish line. Asiatic Boy fought hard to win his second place finish, a nose ahead of Einstein. After the race, Leparoux reflected on the race, saying: “I’m on the horse to beat, so of course they’re trying to beat me. I had nowhere to go; I just had to wait. I was in a pretty good spot, but I had nowhere to go. So I just waited and when he got room at the eighth pole, he finished strong. He was probably the best horse, but that’s horse racing”. A proud Steward confirmed that Macho Again would now be focused on being in the starting gates for the Whitney Handicap, which will be taking place at the Saratoga Racecourse on 8 August 2009.