05/18/2013 12:59PM

Churchill Downs: Take Charge Indy gearing up for Stephen Foster

Barbara D. Livingston
Take Charge Indy, winner of the Alysheba Stakes, will make his next start in the Stephen Foster Handicap.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Take Charge Indy, the romping winner of the May 3 Alysheba Stakes, had his first breeze since that breakout victory when going an easy half-mile in 51 seconds early Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Pat Byrne said he definitely is planning on running Take Charge Indy in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill on June 15. The 4-year-old colt earned a 109 Beyer Speed Figure with his six-length triumph under Rosie Napravnik in the Grade 2 Alysheba on the Kentucky Oaks undercard.

“The horse is doing fantastic,” Byrne said. “We’ve got another month to tighten the screws. He came out of the Alysheba in great shape, and I couldn’t be any happier with him.”

With regular exercise rider John Byrne (no relation) aboard, and over a fast track, Take Charge Indy passed under the wire in 37 seconds, with the Churchill clockers taking him to the seven-eighths pole for their final clocking.

“We just let him stretch himself,” Pat Byrne said. “We’ll probably go a half-mile or five-eighths next weekend, maybe even put Rosie on him. She comes by every day and gives him mints anyway.”

Take Charge Indy, winner of the 2012 Florida Derby, is owned by Chuck and Maribeth Sandford.

At this early juncture, other known prospects for the 1 1/8-mile Foster include Fort Larned, Ron the Greek, and Successful Dan.

Jones’s female stars may square off

It looks as if Larry Jones is going to run his star distaffers against each other.

After Believe You Can breezed a bullet five furlongs in 59.60 seconds Friday morning at Churchill, Jones said: “Right now, she’s headed to the Ogden Phipps,” the Grade 1 race at Belmont Park for which the other Jones star, 5-year-old Joyful Victory, long has been pointed.

The Grade 1, $400,000 Phipps is set for the Met Mile undercard on May 27. It would mark the first time that Believe You Can, the 2012 Kentucky Oaks winner, will race against Joyful Victory, winner of the Grade 1 Santa Margarita in March in her most recent start.

Believe You Can is owned by Brereton C. Jones (no relation), and Joyful Victory is owned by the Fox Hill Farms of Rick Porter.

The alternative race for Believe You Can remains the Grade 2, $175,000 Fleur de Lis on the June 15 Foster undercard, although the defending filly-mare Eclipse champion, Royal Delta, is pointing to that race. Royal Delta won the Fleur de Lis by nine lengths last year.

Uncaptured targeting Matt Winn

Uncaptured, a disappointment so far this year in trying to earn his way into the Kentucky Derby and Queen’s Plate, will try to get back on form by running in the $100,000 Matt Winn on the Foster undercard, trainer Mark Casse said.

Uncaptured is winless in three starts at 3 after going 6 for 7 at 2. He was vanned Friday from Canada to train at Churchill for the 1 1/16-mile Matt Winn.

◗ Gentlemen’s Bet earned an eye-popping 107 Beyer Speed Figure in running the fastest six furlongs of the meet Friday in 1:07.90 in a third-level allowance. The track mark for the distance is 1:07.55, set by Indian Chant in 2007.

Trained by Ron Moquett for Harry Rosenblum, Gentlemen’s Bet now has won 4 of 5 lifetime starts. The 4-year-old colt is by Half Ours.

◗ Centre Court, arguably the top female turf runner in North America, breezed five furlongs Saturday morning in a minute flat over the Polytrack surface at Keeneland as she continues to prepare for the Grade 1 Just a Game on the June 8 Belmont Stakes undercard. Centre Court, bred and owned by G. Watts Humphrey and trained by Rusty Arnold, will be ridden by Julien Leparoux in the one-mile Just a Game. The 4-year-old filly will work again at Keeneland on Memorial Day weekend, Arnold said.

◗ The Thursday card at Churchill will start a five-day race week that runs through the Memorial Day holiday. Because Mondays are usually dark, the following Thursday (May 30) will serve as a replacement dark day, leaving just three days in the subsequent race week (May 31 to June 2).