05/18/2010 11:00PM

Big weekend upcoming at Churchill


It's still three weeks away, but casual and hard-core fans alike already are starting to talk about the biggest post-Derby weekend of the spring meet.

The first of four straight Friday night programs will take place June 11, followed the next afternoon by the Stephen Foster Handicap program of five graded stakes.

The first night programs drew an average ontrack attendance of about 30,000 last spring and prompted Churchill to install a permanent lighting system over the winter. The programs drew a youthful crowd and have become must-attend events for locals who typically would not otherwise go out of their way to be at a racetrack.

The Grade 1, $600,000 Foster is expected to have Blame as the favorite, with Arson Squad, Dubious Miss, and Battle Plan as his main challengers. All four won a graded stakes in their last start while earning triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures.

Nominations for all Foster Day races are due May 29.

Stately Victor's owner wins election

Stately Victor may not have won the Derby, having finished eighth, but his co-owner, Jack Conway, scored a notable political victory Tuesday.

Conway, the attorney general of Kentucky, narrowly defeated Dan Mongiardo in the Democratic primary for the United States Senate seat being vacated this year by Jim Bunning. Conway earned 44 percent of the vote to 43 for Mongiardo, with others getting minor percentages. Conway now will face Republican Rand Paul in the general election in November.

Conway, 40, owns Stately Victor in a 50-50 partnership with his father, Louisville attorney Tom Conway. Stately Victor, who became the longest-priced winner in Blue Grass Stakes history with his 40-1 upset last month at Keeneland, is scheduled to race next in the June 5 Belmont Stakes.