04/29/2014 3:35PM

Will Take Charge, Stevens team up in Alysheba

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Tom Keyser
Will Take Charge won the Oaklawn Handicap under Luis Saez, but will have Gary Stevens aboard Friday in the Grade 2 Alysheba at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Though he won the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap three weeks ago with Luis Saez aboard, Will Take Charge will have a new rider on his back when he runs in Friday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Gary Stevens, who beat Will Take Charge aboard Mucho Macho Man in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, will ride Will Take Charge in the Alysheba. Saez had ridden Will Take Charge in his last seven races, including wins in the Travers, Pennsylvania Derby, and Clark Handicap en route to the colt winning the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old.

In the Oaklawn Handicap, Will Take Charge repeatedly drifted in and had to survive a stewards’ inquiry to maintain the victory.

D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Will Take Charge for Willis Horton, would not say whether that last race had anything to do with the change.

“We’re looking at the big picture, top to bottom, and as we go along these Grade 1’s get a little more difficult,” Lukas said Tuesday afternoon. “The Breeders’ Cup is at Santa Anita and Gary knows every grain of sand there. Nothing against Luis, but I thought Gary would be a natural fit.”

Will Take Charge drew post 2 in a nine-horse field for the Alysheba, one of five stakes on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. Will Take Charge will carry 123 pounds, spotting his eight challengers 3 to 5 pounds.

Lukas said he is using the Alysheba as a prep for the Grade 1 Stephen Foster on June 14 and he didn’t want to give the horse two months between starts.

Will Take Charge is one of four horses that ran in last year’s Kentucky Derby who will be in this year’s Alysheba. Golden Soul, Normandy Invasion and Mylute, the second- fourth- and fifth-place finishers from last year’s Derby, are also in this field. Will Take Charge finished eighth in the Derby.

Normandy Invasion finished second to Palace Malice in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds on March 29. Normandy Invasion will break from post 5 under Javier Castellano.

Mylute won a second-level allowance race at Fair Grounds in his first start since an eighth-place finish in the Jim Dandy last July. Golden Soul was beaten 24 1/2 lengths in the New Orleans Handicap.

On Fire Baby tops La Troienne

On Fire Baby, still looking for her first victory since the 2013 Grade 1 Apple Blossom, heads a field of six entered for Friday's Grade 1, $300,000 La Troienne for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

On Fire Baby was beaten a head in this race last year by Authenticity which began a five-race losing streak. Most recently, she finished second to Close Hatches in Apple Blossom on April 11 at Oaklawn.

On Fire Baby will break from post 6 with Joe Johnson up.

Unlimited Budget, third in last year’s Kentucky Oaks, tops the list of challengers to On Fire Baby. Unlimited Budget, trained by Todd Pletcher, is coming off a three-quarter-length defeat to longshot winner Gamay Noir in the Grade 3 Rampart at Gulfstream Park on March 29.

Completing the field are Devil’s Cave, third in the Rampart; Magic Union, second to Close Hatches in the Grade 2 Azeri; and Molly Morgan.

She’s a Tiger returns in Eight Belles

She’s a Tiger, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly, will make her 3-year-old debut Friday in the Grade 3, $175,000 Eight Belles Stakes at seven furlongs.

She’s a Tiger, who finished first but was disqualified to second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, will break from the outside post in the 10-horse field. Trainer Jeff Bonde is removing the blinkers that She’s a Tiger wore her in last three starts as a juvenile. Gary Steven is named to ride.

Her competition will include Fiftyshadesofgold, who was under consideration for the Kentucky Oaks until Monday. Fiftyshadesofgold began her 3-year-old season with a victory in the Two Altazano Stakes at Sam Houston going seven furlongs before being soundly defeated by Oaks favorite Untapable in the Fair Grounds Oaks.

Heading the competition are Our Amazing Rose, undefeated in two starts, both for Todd Pletcher; Bajan, third in the Santa Anita Oaks; and Milam, winner of the Pica Slew Stakes at Calder.

Marchman vs. Positive Side in Twin Spires

Marchman and Positive Side finished first and second when 23-1and 33-1, respectively, in the Grade 3 Shakertown on April 12 at Keeneland. They will lock horns again in Friday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at five furlongs.

Havelock, seventh as the favorite in the Shakertown, and Sum of the Parts, winner of the Champion Energy Services Stakes at Sam Houston, are the logical threats.

Candy Kitty, Resistivity back on turf

Candy Kitty and Resistivity, eighth and 10th in the Grade 1 Ashland on synthetic, return to the turf in Friday’s $150,000 Edgewood Stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf.

Candy Kitty won the Wait a While, taken off the turf, and Ginger Brew at Gulfstream this winter before running second in the Herecomesthebride on turf at Gulfstream.

Candy Kitty will break from post 4 under John Velazquez and high weight of 120 pounds.

Resistivity looked good winning an allowance race on turf at Gulfstream before her poor performance in the Ashland. Trainer Chad Brown sends out Granny Mc’s Kitten and Little Journey, a French-bred import, in the 1 1/16-mile race.