Cara McCarty
Office (812) 798-3620

Smile Happy Continues Preparation Toward Grade I, $1 Million Stephen Foster

Smile Happy

Contact: Kevin Kerstein
Kentucky Racing Communications
Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Turfway Park
(610) 420-6971 (mobile)
(502) 635-4712 (office)

HENDERSON, Ky. (Thursday, June 22, 2023) – Lucky Seven Stables’ multiple graded stakes winner Smile Happy continues his preparation toward the July 1, $1 million Stephen Foster Stakes (Grade I) at Ellis Park Racing & Gaming and will likely face a field of nine rivals, according to racing officials.

    Run at 1 1/8 miles, Stephen Foster is the centerpiece of a six pack of stakes events July 1 at Ellis Park. The other featured races on the program are the $400,000 Fleur de Lis (GII), the $400,000 Wise Dan (GII), the $225,000 American Derby (Listed), the $225,000 Kelly’s Landing (Listed) and the $225,000 Tepin. Entries for all of those races will be drawn Saturday. Here are the likely entrants, according to the Ellis Park Racing Office:

    The Stephen Foster: Call Me Fast (trainer Michael Puhich); Happy American (Neil Pessin); Last Samurai (D. Wayne Lukas); Promise Keeper (Dallas Stewart); Proxy (Mike Stidham); Rattle N Roll (Kenny McPeek); Smile Happy (Kenny McPeek); Speed Bias (Ron Moquett); Stilleto Boy (Ed Moger Jr.); West Will Power (Brad Cox)

    The 48th running of the $400,000 Fleur de Lis (GII), run at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares 4-year-old and up: A Mo Reay (Brad Cox); Bellamore (Simon Callaghan); Heartyconstitution (Joe Sharp); Moon Swag (Brendan Walsh); Sixtythreecaliber (Tom Amoss).

    The 34th running of the $400,000 Wise Dan (GII), run at 1 1/8 miles on turf for 4-year-olds and up: Camp Hope (Kenny McPeek); Set Piece (GB) (Brad Cox); Tut’s Revenge (Shea Stuart).

    The 108th running of the $225,000 American Derby (Listed), run at 1 1/16 miles on turf for 3-year-olds: Desert Highway (Jerry Antonuik); Mo Stash (Vicki Oliver); Wadsworth (Brad Cox).

    The 13th running of the $225,000 Kelly’s Landing (Listed), run at 6 ½ furlongs for 3-year-olds and up: Bango (Greg Foley); Happy Jack (Doug O’Neill); Hesmyhoneybadger (Tom Amoss); Miles Ahead (Paul McGee); Pro Oxidant (Eddie Kenneally); Surveillance (Keith Desormeaux).
    The 4th running of the $225,000 Tepin, run at one-mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies: Bling (Vicki Oliver); Girl Named Charlie (Tom Amoss); Heavenly Sunday (Brad Cox); Metaphysical (Jeff Hiles); Safeen (Eddie Kenneally); Santa Fe Gold (Bret Calhoun); Wonderfull Lady (FR) (Brendan Walsh); Xigera (Phil Bauer).

    The Stephen Foster will be the first Grade I ever run at Ellis Park. General Admission is free but fans who wish to purchase upgraded seats can do so at 

AROUND THE ‘PEA PATCH’: Following dark days Monday-Wednesday, racing will resume Thursday-Sunday at Ellis Park with an adjusted daily first post of 11:45 a.m. (CDT). As of 9 a.m. Thursday, the main track was listed as “fast” and turf was labeled as “firm”. … Fans unable to make it to Ellis Park for live racing can watch all races on FanDuel TV and FanDuel TV+. … “Inside Churchill Downs” will air Friday from 5-6 p.m. (CDT) and look ahead to the weekend’s cards at Ellis Park. The one-hour show will air on Louisville’s ESPN 680/105.7 and stream online at … For more information about racing and gaming from Ellis Park, visit 

Ellis Park, Racking and Gaming (“Ellis Park”) located north of the Ohio River and just south of Evansville, Indiana, has been the home of summer Thoroughbred racing in Kentucky for over 100 years. Ellis Park also features a gaming entertainment venue with approximately 300 historical racing machines.