Updated on 09/16/2011 7:34AM

This time, Danthebluegrassman will run


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Six weeks after he was supposed to make his first start under the Twin Spires, Danthebluegrassman finally will make his debut at Churchill Downs.

But instead of running in the 128th Kentucky Derby - from which he was scratched the morning of the race - Danthebluegrassman will run in just the fourth-richest race on the Saturday card at Churchill.

The $100,000 Northern Dancer, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds, is the comeback spot for Danthebluegrassman, the colt who raised eyebrows - and some tempers - when Bob Baffert entered him in, then scratched him from, the May 4 Derby. That controversial move precluded Windward Passage from making the Derby field.

Baffert announced on Derby morning that Danthebluegrassman had "tied up," the commonly used term for muscle cramps, and thus would not be able to run. For the next week or two, complications persisted, although Baffert said Wednesday at Churchill that Danthebluegrassman is again healthy and training well.

"He hasn't done that in a long time," Baffert said. "It actually ended up being a little pulled muscle. He's okay now."

Although the purse is the lowest of the four stakes on what Churchill is calling its Stephen Foster Super Saturday program, by no means is the Northern Dancer the least compelling race. Danthebluegrassman, owned by Mike Pegram and to be ridden by Jerry Bailey, adds an interesting variable to an enticing rematch of two locally based horses, Stephentown and Sky Terrace. A field of about seven is expected.

Stephentown, a one-time Derby hopeful, was the narrowly beaten favorite after a troubled trip in a prep for the Northern Dancer last month. That race was won by Sky Terrace, who was coming off a victory in the April 27 Derby Trial.

"All I can say is, 'May the best horse win,' " said Tony Reinstedler, trainer of Stephentown. "It looks like a really tough race."

Seven for the Foster

Invisible Ink and Slider, were withdrawn Wednesday from consideration for Saturday's Grade 1 Stephen Foster, making for a probable field of seven.

The likely field is: Congaree, 121, Pat Day; Street Cry, 120, Jerry Bailey; Tenpins, 115, Craig Perret; Unshaded, 115, Jon Court; Dollar Bill, 114, Mark Guidry; Parade Leader, 113, Calvin Borel; and Connected, 112, Larry Melancon.

Street Cry worked five furlongs in 1:04.22 Wednesday at Belmont Park.

The two other supporting stakes Saturday, the $300,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap and $150,000 Regret Stakes, also figure to be tough races.

In the Fleur de Lis, Spain is expected to be the 121-pound highweight over Dancethruthedawn (119), Forest Secrets (118), With Ability (117), and several other fillies and mares. The 1 1/8-mile race is being run as a Grade 2 for the first time after having been a Grade 3 for the many years

For the Grade 3 Regret, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies, Churchill officials are expecting a well-balanced field led by Styleistick, Traci's Wild, and Distant Valley.

The Northern Dancer will be carded as the eighth of 11 Saturday races. It will be followed, in order, by the Fleur de Lis, Foster, and Regret. An all-stakes pick four will be offered.