Ron the Greek rallied to overtake pacesetter Nate’s Mineshaft near the finish line and then held off favorite Wise Dan by a head Saturday in the $437,200 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.
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Ron the Greek, ridden by Jose Lezcano, earned the first automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic through the ”Win and You’re In” series. It was his second Grade 1 victory this year, following the Santa Anita Handicap in March.
Trained by Bill Mott and owned by Brous Stable, Watchtel Stable and Jack T. Hammer, Ron the Greek returned $20.80 for a $2 win bet. Wise Dan was second, and Nate’s Mineshaft held on for third.
Mott also won the Grade 2 Fleur De Lis as Royal Delta, last year’s champion 3-year-old filly, routed the field by eight lengths. Centre Court won the Grade 3 Regret, and Neck ‘n Neck took the Grade 3 Matt Winn.