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Connections Eye Stephen Foster for Smile Happy

Lucky Seven Stable’s Smile Happy  is on target for the $1 million Stephen Foster (G1) July 1 following his victory in the $600,000 Alysheba Stakes (G2) May 5 at Churchill Downs, according to trainer Kenny McPeek.

“(Smile Happy) will go to the Stephen Foster and Rattle N Roll , who’s owned by the Mackin family (as Lucky Seven Stable), will go the Blame Stakes,” McPeek said.

Smile Happy recorded his career-best Equibase Speed Figure of 117 in landing his second win from three starts this year. Last year at age 3, the son of Runhappy   finished eighth in Kentucky Derby (G1) and went to the sidelines until March. In the Alysheba, Smile Happy made a bold move around the far turn and powered clear for a two-length score over Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) winner Art Collector .

The $225,000 Blame Stakes (G3), featuring Smile Happy’s multiple graded stakes-winning stablemate Rattle N Roll, will be run June 3 as part of Stephen Foster Preview Day. One month later, the Stephen Foster, which was elevated back to grade 1 status this year, will highlight the card as one of six stakes events.

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Once again, the Stephen Foster will be used as a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), contested this year on Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park.

The Stephen Foster also will be telecast on NBC and Peacock as part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.

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