Macho Again, who has won two of three starts at Churchill Downs, makes a return visit to the historic track for the May 1 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard as he takes on nine rivals in the 1 1/16-miles race. The sole millionaire in the race for 3-year-olds and up, he will carry high weight of 124 pounds.
Trained by Dallas Stewart, Macho Again is coming off an impressive triumph in the March 14 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds. After trailing much of the way over a sloppy track in his second start of the year, he got up to win by a length under Robby Albarado
One of the better 3-year-olds last year, the son of Macho Uno won the Derby Trial at Churchill in the spring and the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga and ran second in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and Super Derby (gr. II). Albarado gets a return call.
Prom Shoes and Star Guitar , next in the weights at 122 pounds, also are multiple stakes winners. Whereas Prom Shoes has won two stakes against open company and is grade II stakes-placed in his 28 starts, Star Guitar has won four restricted stakes, all in Louisiana. He has run just eight times.
Prom Shoes, by Include , won the Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park three races back. Trained by William H. Fires, he will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux for just the second time in his career.
Star Guitar, by Quiet American, ran in the New Orleans Handicap but was no match for Macho Again, finishing unplaced in what was his last start. The Albert Stall Jr. trainee will be ridden by Corey J. Lanerie for the second time.
Cool Coal Man, trained by Nick Zito, scored his big win in last year’s Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II). He gave it a try in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) but finished unplaced. His sole win this year from three starts came in an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park. He will be ridden in the Alysheba by John R. Velazquez.
Ready Set, who will be making his first start of the year, won last year’s West Virginia Derby (gr. III) and was graded stakes-placed three times. Trained by Michael Matz, the son of Touch Gold will be ridden by Julien R. Leparoux.
Bullsbay, by Tiznow , is the only one of the foursome to go into the Alysheba off a win. Trained by H. Graham Motion, he won the March 28 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicap at Laurel. Jeremy Rose rides again.
Mambo in Seattle, by Kingmambo, not only was a stakes winner last year, but ran second in the Travers Stakes (gr. I). He also sports three career wins from four starts at Churchill. His last win came in the Henry Watson last year at Saratoga. Trained by Neil Howard, he will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan.
Not to be overlooked in the Alysheba are Dr. Pleasure, who goes into the race off two optional claiming wins at Gulfstream Park in his two starts this year, and Shift in Power, a winner last time out at Gulfstream in March.
Rounding out the field is Informed , who was grade II stakes-placed at Santa Anita in January.
Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, 9th Race, $150,000, 1 1/16 Miles, Three-Year-Olds and Up
Post Horse Weight Jockey
1 Macho Again 124 Robby Albarado
2 Ready Set 118 Julien Leparoux
3 Mambo in Seattle 118 Shaun Bridgmohan
4 Cool Coal Man 118 John Velazquez
5 Bullsbay 118 Jeremy Rose
6 Star Guitar 122 Corey J. Lanerie
7 Shift in Power 118 Jon Kenton Court
8 Dr. Pleasure 118 Edgar Prado
9 Prom Shoes 122 Kent Desormeaux
10 Informed 118 Garrett Gomez