Top 5 Horses to Compete in the Stephen Foster Stakes

 The Stephen Foster Stakes is a renowned race in the American horse racing schedule, known for its competitive fields and memorable performances. 

Held annually at Churchill Downs, this race has seen some of the best Thoroughbreds compete for glory. Here are the top five horses that have left an indelible mark on the history of the Stephen Foster Stakes.


Wise Dan

Bet on Stephen Foster StakesWise Dan is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated horses to have competed in the Stephen Foster Stakes. Winning the race in 2011, Wise Dan went on to secure multiple Horse of the Year titles and became an offtrack betting favorite.

He is the first horse to win three consecutive Eclipse Awards: American Horse of the Year, Champion Older Male, and Champion Male Turf Horse in 2012 and 2013.

Starting his racing career in 2010, he has won nineteen graded stakes races on turf, dirt, and two types of synthetic surfaces.



Bet on Stephen Foster StakesCurlin’s victory in the 2008 Stephen Foster Stakes solidified his status as one of the greatest Thoroughbreds of modern times. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Curlin had already won the Preakness Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Classic before his Stephen Foster win. 

Curlin retired in 2008 as the highest North American money earner with over $10.5 million. In August 2008, Timeform rated him 134, calling him the best horse in the world on dirt. Curlin was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2014, his first year of eligibility.

Since retiring to stud, Curlin has become a significant sire. His notable offspring include Palace Malice, Keen Ice, Exaggerator, Good Magic, Stellar Wind, Vino Rosso, Clairiere, Malathaat, and Nest.


Bet on Stephen Foster Stakes


Blame is another standout competitor in the history of the Stephen Foster Stakes. His 2010 victory was part of an impressive season, culminating in winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic, defeating the unbeaten Zenyatta.

Trained by Al Stall Jr., he consistently finished in the money during his racing career, winning nine times, coming in second twice, and third twice. After retiring in 2010, he went to Claiborne Farm to become a stud.


Victory Gallop

Bet on Stephen Foster StakesVictory Gallop set a record in the Stephen Foster Stakes in 1999, completing the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.28, a time that remains unbeaten. 

Retired to stand at stud at his owner’s Prestonwood Farm, Victory Gallop ranked second among freshman sires in 2003. By November 2006, he had sired sixteen individual stakes race winners and excellent horse racing odds throughout his career. 

His performances earned him the 1999 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Older Male Horse. In a New York Times About, Inc. poll, he received the most votes for Most Impressive Performance of the Year for his win in the Stephen Foster Handicap.

Victory Gallop was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2010.


Macho Again

Bet on Stephen Foster StakesMacho Again’s victory in the 2009 Stephen Foster Stakes was a memorable event, showcasing his ability to perform under pressure. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Macho Again delivered a strong finish. 

Sired by Macho Uno and out of Go Donna Go, began his racing career under trainer Dallas Stewart. He made a mark as a two-year-old by winning at Churchill Downs and earning over $45,000 in four races.

He won the Derby Trial and Jim Dandy Stakes at three and placed second in the Preakness Stakes.

At four, Macho Again won the New Orleans and Stephen Foster Handicap, earning Fair Grounds’ best older horse title. He also placed second in the Whitney Handicap and narrowly lost to Rachel Alexandra in the Woodward Stakes, ending his career with $1,825,767 in earnings.


Score up to $2,500
on your first deposit

100% Welcome Bonus

Start your experience with BUSR. Stream LIVE all major sports leagues, and enjoy live in-game moments with live betting, exclusive team props, and season futures. You control your winnings with our new early cash out option—no need to wait for game endings. Enjoy 24-hour payouts, dive into over 400 casino games, and access to exclusive lines and odds.