06/12/2013 2:43PM

Churchill Downs: Take Charge Indy's tactics in Stephen Foster will be left to Napravnik

Barbara D. Livingston
Rosie Napravnik, who was aboard Take Charge Indy when he won last month's Alysheba, will choose where to place her mount during the early stages of Saturday night's Stephen Foster.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Three of the four top contenders in the Stephen Foster Handicap bring forth essentially the same running style – on or near the lead – and how it all plays out is a matter of keen interest to Pat Byrne, trainer of Take Charge Indy, one of that trio.

Along with Take Charge Indy, Successful Dan and Fort Larned also have an outstanding turn of foot that will be a critical part of race strategy when the Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster is run Saturday night at Churchill Downs for the 32nd time.

“We’ll either be on the lead or we’ll be close,” said Byrne, who will give Rosie Napravnik a leg up on his stable star. “Or maybe we’ll drop back, I don’t know. I’m leaving it up to Rosie.”

Byrne noted that Successful Dan figures to be fresh and sharp under Julien Leparoux after having raced just once in the last 11-plus months, while Fort Larned, with Brian Hernandez Jr. riding for trainer Ian Wilkes, won the Breeders’ Cup Classic last fall in wire-to-wire fashion.

“It’s a tactical race and a tough one to handicap,” Byrne said. “Ian’s horse seems to do his best on the lead. He doesn’t have to be, I know, but why wouldn’t you after what he did in the Breeders’ Cup?”

Ron the Greek, winner of the 2012 Foster after rallying from second-to-last, is the remaining contender among the top four choices. His from-the-back style obviously contrasts to the other three. Jose Lezcano rides Ron the Greek for trainer Bill Mott.

“You’ve got to be hoping for a speed duel if you’re him,” Byrne said. “I’m thinking you’ve got heads-up riders in the race, and they’ll be trying not to set it up for a closer like him. But you never know. It’s a very interesting race the way it all shapes up.”

Cover2 More than 1 year ago
Thought they just took Bo-Rail off, when they left CD, not the case.. Pletch took Calvin off Revolutionary for Belmont (Castellano) we see where he finished ! Does CB have a mount ? All conditioners should look to Cal with a closer on any track, because if there is an opening Borel will find it !!
Jim Qaukey More than 1 year ago
Rosie is very much over rated , she is a good rider but good as best , when it comes to class horses and jockeys in the race she can't seem to get it done , she won't know what to do with TCI she'll take him wide in the final turn when she should have saved ground and come up short , this is where a real rider knows what to do like Calvin Borel if they wanted a wire to wire won , they should have stayed with Bo- Rail !!!!!
Mike Lee More than 1 year ago
You have her confused with Danica Patrick sport...Rosie is a great jockey...a winner with a ton of guts...it's only a matter of time before she'll win a triple crown race,breeder's cup classic,oh,and didn't she with The Kentucky Oaks on LONGSHOT Believe You Can in 2012????? .....You're clueless Quakey!!
aelafave More than 1 year ago
Anyone know if this is going to be on NBC Sports?? Kansas doesn't have TVG or HRTV....
Robynrokn More than 1 year ago
There's an ESPN site that shows races live http://espn.go.com/horse-racing/twinspires?wer They carry churchill.
Robert Clayton More than 1 year ago
Who else would they be left to?
Rob Tuel More than 1 year ago
"We'll either be on the lead or close. Or maybe we'll drop back." Kind of covered all the bases there Byrne.....Maybe you did, or maybe you didn't.
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
Shame its an unbettable race.
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I hope you are right. I'm betting you are.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Rosie needs to sit a pocket trip behind Successful Dan And Fort Larned. Hopefully the two will mix it up. Take charge Indy could be this years Fort Larned. I hate seeing this race run under the lights. I've seen plenty of night races at HP and some horses don't take well to being under the lights for the first time.
Jeremy Bayness More than 1 year ago
This will be Indy's second race under the lights. Got good experience last year in the Clark.