Charles Cella’s Cyber Secret, runaway winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (Grade II) in his most recent start, and WinStar Farm and Chuck and Maribeth Sandford’s Take Charge Indy, winner of the 2012 Florida Derby (GI), head a field of nine for Friday’s 10th running of the $300,000-added Alysheba Presented by Besilu Stables (GII).
The Alysheba, named for the 1987 Kentucky Derby winner, and the 28th running of the $300,000-added La Troienne Presented by Steelcase and ORI (GII) highlight the undercard on the 12-race Longines Kentucky Oaks program that features six stakes. The La Troienne will feature the return to Churchill Downs of 2012 Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can, who will face six foes in the 1 1/16 miles test.
Other stakes on the 12-race program that begins at 10:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) card are the 22nd running of the $200,000-added American Turf (GII) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course, the 58th running of the $175,000-added Eight Belles Presented by Xerox (GIII) at seven furlongs on the main track; and the 28th running of the $150,000-added Edgewood Presented by Forcht Bank at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Trained by Lynn Whiting, Cyber Secret is four-for-four in 2013 with his past two victories coming in the Razorback (GIII) by a head and the Oaklawn Handicap by 5 ¾ lengths. Robby Albarado, who has been aboard for three of the four wins including the past two, has the mount Friday and will break from post position nine under top weight of 120 pounds.
Take Charge Indy, who was injured while finishing 19th in last year’s Kentucky Derby, has four graded-stakes placings since his return to the races last October. Trained by Pat Byrne, Take Charge Indy will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik and break from post position six.
The field for the Alysheba that goes as the ninth race with a 3:52 p.m. post time, from the rail out, is as follows: Patrioticandproud (Joel Rosario, 118 pounds), Laugh Track (Miguel Mena, 118), Right to Vote (Ricardo Santana Jr., 118), Hymn Book (Garrett Gomez, 118), Richard’s Kid (Kevin Krigger, 118), Take Charge Indy (Napravnik, 118), Macho Macho (Corey Nakatani, 118), Bourbon Courage (Javier Castellano, 118) and Cyber Secret (Albarado, 120).
Believe You Can, owned by Brereton Jones and trained by Larry Jones, is undefeated in two starts in 2013, winning stakes at Fair Grounds by a combined 16 lengths. Rosie Napravnik, who was aboard for both of those victories as well as in the Oaks last year, has the mount Friday and will break from post position four.
Believe You Can will be facing a familiar foe in the La Troienne in Anita Cauley’s On Fire Baby, winner of the Apple Blossom Handicap (GI) in her first start in 10 ½ months.
Trained by Gary Hartlage and ridden by Joe Johnson, On Fire Baby defeated Believe You Can in their first meeting as 2-year-olds in the 2011 Pocahontas (GII) here. In last year’s Oaks, On Fire Baby finished fifth. On Fire Baby will break from post position five and carry top weight of 123 pounds.
Invading from California is Michael Talla’s More Chocolate. Trained by John Sadler, More Chocolate won her dirt debut in the La Canada (GII) and followed that up with a runner-up finish in the Grade I Santa Margarita. Joel Rosario has the mount on More Chocolate, who will break from post position three.
The field for the La Troienne that will go as the sixth race with a 1:26 p.m. post time, from the rail out, is as follows: Imposing Grace (Garrett Gomez, 118 pounds), Authenticity (John Velazquez, 118), More Chocolate (Rosario, 120), Believe You Can (Napravnik, 120), On Fire Baby (Johnson, 123), Class Included (Corey Lanerie, 118) and Draw It (Ricardo Santana Jr., 118).
Martin Schwartz and Dell Ridge Farm’s Noble Tune heads a field of 13 slated to go postward in the American Turf.
Trained by Chad Brown, Noble Tune won the Pilgrim (GIII) last October at Belmont Park and finished second as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GI) at Santa Anita. A winner of his only start in 2013, Noble Tune will break from post position four and be ridden by Javier Castellano.
The field for the American Turf that goes as the 10th race with a 4:44 p.m. post time, from the hedge out, is: Anyriderill Do (Miguel Mena, 118 pounds), Bashaar (Joe Johnson, 118), Channel Isle (Joe Rocco Jr., 118), Noble Tune (Castellano, 120), War Dancer (Alan Garcia, 118), Positively (Rosie Napravnik, 118), I’ll Call (Edgar Prado, 118), Tenforthemoney (Corey Lanerie, 118), Admiral Kitten (Mike Smith, 120), Fire Guard (Junior Alvarado, 118), Joelito (Joel Rosario, 118), Redwood Kitten, (Elvis Trujillo, 118) and Prado Cat (Gary Stevens, 118).
Undefeated fillies Blueeyesintherein and Calistoga are the marquee names for the Eight Belles, which drew a field of 14.
Owned by Dorothy Self and Miracle Stable, Blueeyesintherein won the Debutante (GIII) here last June and returned off a nearly 10-month layoff to win the Instant Racing Stakes at Oaklawn in her 2013 debut. Trained by Garry Simms, Blueeyesintherein will break from post position three and be ridden by Jon Court.
Donald Dizney’s Calistoga, will make her stakes debut in the Eight Belles after winning her first two starts by a combined 10 ¼ lengths at Gulfstream Park. Trained by Bill Mott and to be ridden by Joel Rosario, Calistoga will break from post position 14.
The field for the Eight Belles that goes as the eighth race with a 3:02 p.m. post time, from the rail out, is: Chortle (Francisco Torres, 118 pounds), Fusaichiswonderful (Javier Castellano, 118), Blueeyesintherein (Court, 118), Sittin At the Bar (Shaun Bridgmohan, 120), Renee’s Titan (Mario Gutierrez, 123), Neith (Victor Lebron, 118), Spring Venture (Robby Albarado, 118), Gold Medal Dancer (Corey Lanerie, 118), So Many Ways (Garrett Gomez, 118), Irish Lute (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Touch Magic (James Graham, 118), Guadalupe High (Miguel Mena, 120) and Calistoga (Rosario, 118).
China Doll Stakes winner Birdlover (GB), trained by 2012 Kentucky Derby-winning conditioner Doug O’Neill, heads an evenly matched field of 11 fillies for the Edgewood.
Owned by Robert Cseplo, Steven Keh, Daniel Kramer and W.C. Racing, Birdlover began her career in England prior to coming to the United States in the fall. In her most recent start, she finished second in the Providencia (GIII) at 1 1/8 miles. Birdlover will break from post position five and be ridden by Kevin Krigger.
Also figuring to draw support is Emory Hamilton’s Tokyo Time. Trained by Shug McGaughey, Tokyo Time finished second , beaten a neck, in the Herecomesthebride (GIII) in her stakes debut. Javier Castellano has the mount on Tokyo Time, who will break from post position nine.
The field for the Edgewood that goes as the seventh race with a 2:08 p.m. post time, from the hedge out, is as follows: Street of Gold (Shaun Bridgmohan), Broken Spell (Miguel Mena), Kitten’s Dumplings (Joel Rosario), Judy In Disguise (GB) (Mike Smith), Birdlover (GB) (Krigger), Private Ensign (Corey Lanerie), Emotional Kitten (Elvis Trujillo), Praia (Alan Garcia), Tokyo Time (Castellano), Wave Theory (Julien Leparoux) and Adriani (Joe Rocco Jr.) All starters will carry 118 pounds.
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN). Churchill Downs will conduct the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2013 and its 2013 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 27-June 30. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.ChurchillDowns.com.