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Bradester wins Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs

160619 churchill

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Bradester took charge at the start and held off Eagle by a half-length Saturday night in the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs to claim a spot in this fall in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

The 6-year-old, Kentucky-bred bay colt trained by Eddie Kenneally was a late entrant but earned his first Grade 1 victory to improve to 2-0 this year. He has four wins in his past six starts with three graded stakes triumphs. Breaking from the No. 2 post position, Bradester set the pace, dug in and remained clear in the stretch despite a challenge from Eagle for the biggest win of his career.

Ridden by Joe Bravo, Bradester ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.85 and paid $20.40, $8.40 and $5.40. Eagle returned $5.20 and $3.40, and Majestic Harbor paid $3.80 to show.

Even-money race favorite Effinex, who was second to Triple Crown champion American Pharoah in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, was sixth in the seven-horse field.