With the Triple Crown now history, racings second season began fittingly where the classics begin every year, at Churchill Downs. The day was billed as Stephen Foster Super Saturday and when you put on a show like they did yesterday in Louisville, you can call it anything you want.

The centerpiece, naturally, was the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at nine furlongs and was the penultimate leg of an all-graded-stakes Pick Six. But you cant really have a big day of racing at The Downs without a race for three-year-olds, right?

Chelokee, impressive winner of the Barbaro on the Preakness undercard following his troubled third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby in his previous start, stalked a slow pace three wide, took the lead on the final turn, was outrun in midstretch, then came again to beat Zanjero by a head. Sam P., like Zanjero a victim of Street Sense in the Kentucky Derby, finished third.

(In this crop, it seems, even Grade 3s result in stretch long battles and a camera is needed to settle the issue).

What impressed was Chelokees will to win. Racing on the pace is not his best game, yet he won both recent starts on the pace. Hes getting closer to the big boys, and girl, with every start.

The Foster pre-race storyline was whether the streaking Master Command would finally get his Grade 1 title. The winner did, but it wasnt the Foster favorite.

Flashy Bull, also a winner on the Preakness program, has come into his own as a four-year-old. He was very competitive on the classics trail last year but it looks like Kiaran McLaughlin has finally figured him out.

Master Command raced dully in a poor performance, but stablemate Magna Graduate nearly saved the day for the Pletcher crowd. However, his late run down the center of the track fell a nose short at the wire. Flashy Bull swept to command into the lane but it took all of Robby Albarados urging to get the job done.

The excellent 11-race program was an exciting and meaningful day of racing. But no-o-o-body picked six. Winners of five collected a $1,300 consolation and Sundays carryover at Churchill is $51,000-plus.