05/24/2007 11:00PM

Pletcher to take shot or two at Foster


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Duly rejuvenated by three weeks of relative calm following the Kentucky Derby, adrenaline junkies looking for their next jolt from Churchill Downs probably are looking ahead to June 16, when the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap anchors a program of six graded stakes races.

"After the Derby, I guess it's never too early to look ahead to the Stephen Foster," said Churchill's racing secretary, Ben Huffman.

And in so doing, Huffman said he is looking for a big field for the $750,000 Foster Cap, with any or all of a Todd Pletcher contingent liable to head the cast. Master Command, Magna Graduate, and possibly Lawyer Ron - depending on how he fares Monday in the Met Mile at Belmont - are the most formidable Pletcher horses under consideration.

Other possibilities for the Foster include Wanderin Boy, an impressive winner of the Alysheba Stakes here May 4, and Perfect Drift, the venerable earner of $6.4 million.

"I'm sure we'll end up with quite a few more," said Huffman. "We'll really start going to work on all the races after we get all the noms in."

Nominations for all the Foster Day stakes close next Saturday. The other races are the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis, the Grade 3 Jefferson Cup, the Grade 3 Regret, the Grade 3 Northern Dancer, and the Grade 3 Mint Julep.

Ready to Please heads Winning Colors

A field of eight fillies and mares has been entered for the Memorial Day feature, the Grade 3 Winning Colors at six furlongs.

Ready to Please, trained by Pletcher and to be ridden by Robby Albarado, looks like a solid favorite for the $100,000 Winning Colors, which anchors an 11-race Monday card. A 4-year-old filly by More Than Ready, Ready to Please won an April 28 allowance prep at Churchill, snapping a seven-race winless streak dating to her triumph in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes at 3.

From the rail, this is the Winning Colors field: Ready to Please, Morner, Ocean Current, Flashy Lady, Morethanaprincess, Cuaba, Miss Macy Sue, and Arradoul.

Pletcher won the Winning Colors last year with favored Ever Elusive.

A $58,500 five-furlong turf allowance that matches stakes-caliber horses is the secondary feature Monday.

10-cent superfectas hard to measure

After nearly two weeks of Churchill's offering 10-cent superfectas on its live races, the track's general manager, Jim Gates, said ontrack handle on super pools has increased but that "it's difficult to ascertain whether or not it's a financial boon to us."

Churchill began offering the dime supers on May 11, becoming the last Kentucky track to do so. Ontrack, the dime supers are available only on self-service terminals so as to avoid clogged lines at mutuel windows.

Gates said "an apples-to-apples comparison is very difficult" in trying to determine whether the supers are benefiting the Churchill bottom line, "but the main thing is they're something the customers asked for."

Gates said "it's a safe assumption" that Churchill will not offer dime supers on Kentucky Oaks and Derby days next year.

* Because racing will be held here Monday, normally a dark day, there will be no racing here Wednesday. With Wednesday dark, the weekly handicapping contest moves back one day to Thursday.